Barnard signs NLL contract with Buffalo

Barnard (right) went 9th nationally in faceoffs
Barnard (right) went 9th nationally in faceoffs

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Former Adrian College men's lacrosse player Mitch Barnard has signed a one-year professional contract with the National Lacrosse League's Buffalo Bandits for the upcoming season, according to the Buffalo News yesterday.

"Mitch Barnard is one of the hardest working players I've ever been around. He is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. His work ethic is unmatched and I have no doubt his drive and desire is what propelled him to have the opportunity to play at the professional level," said Adrian head coach Don LaSala.

On Saturday, January 12, 2013, it is possible that two members from last year's Adrian College lacrosse team will face one another in Buffalo. Barnard's Bandits will host Minnesota that night. The Swarm drafted Adrian standout Tyler Tanguay last month. The tilt is set for 7:30 p.m. at the First Niagara Center.

Prior to the signing, the gritty transition player impressed Bandit management during a mid-November rookie camp. Buffalo coach Darius Kilgour mentioned Barnard by name when asked which players had impressed him. His faceoff ability and transition game give him a particular niche that may be in demand.

Barnard sees himself as a gritty transition player, using his solid frame to play tough defense and his stick skills to add some points in the offensive zone. His greatest area of expertise, though, may just be in the faceoff circle.

Barnard, a three-time first-team all-conference player at Adrian, finished ninth in the nation in faceoff percentage winning 67 percent. He also finished 17th in the nation in ground balls with 146.

During his last year at Adrian, he led the team in faceoffs and groundballs- gathering three times more than any other teammate. In addition, he finished in the top 10 in goals, assists and points on the team with 16, seven and 23, respectively.

Barnard was also a member of the Midwest Lacrosse Conference All-Academic Team by virtue of accumulating a 3.50 or higher GPA.