Chesapeake Bayhawks

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Chesapeake Bayhawks
Chesapeake Bayhawks logo.png
League Major League Lacrosse
Founded 2001
Stadium Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Based in Annapolis, Maryland
Colors Navy, light green, silver, white
                   
Owner Brendan Kelly
President Mark Burdett
General manager Dave Cottle
Head coach Vacant
Steinfeld Cups 2002, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013
Division titles 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005
Formerly Baltimore Bayhawks
2001–2006
Washington Bayhawks
2007–2009
Website Official website
Current season

The Chesapeake Bayhawks are a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) semi-professional men's field lacrosse team based in Annapolis, Maryland. They have played in the greater Baltimore metro area since the MLL's inaugural 2001 season, as the Baltimore Bayhawks from 2001–2006, the Washington Bayhawks from 2007–2009, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks since 2010 to represent the entire Chesapeake Bay area.

The Bayhawks have won 5 Steinfeld Cup titles, the most of any MLL franchise.

Franchise history[edit]

Bayhawks uniforms

Early success[edit]

The Bayhawks played two seasons at Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University, in 2001 and 2003, while they played at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore in 2002. Their home moved to Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University from 2004 to 2006. The Bayhawks won National Division titles in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005. They made the 2004 playoffs as a wild card.

In 2001, the Bayhawks won the National Division crown, but fell short in the championship game to the Long Island Lizards. The following year, the Bayhawks repeated as National Division champions and this time avenged their title game loss by beating the Lizards to win their first MLL crown. In the MLL's third season, the Bayhawks continued their National Division dominance with their third straight title, but again came up just short in the MLL Championship against the Lizards. The Bayhawks made the playoffs in 2004, but were eliminated in the semifinals.

The 2005 Bayhawks squad is regarded as one of the greatest lacrosse teams ever assembled.[citation needed] Led by hall-of-famers Gary Gait and Tom Marechek, the Bayhawks went 10–2, dominating the competition and setting several scoring records throughout the year. They scored 47 more goals than any other team and lead the league with fewest goals allowed, resulting in an average score of 20–13. The team capped the regular season with their fourth National Division title and their second MLL crown.

The Bayhawks were the only Major League Lacrosse team to have a winning season in each of the first five years of the league, posting a 44–19 record.

Move to Washington, D.C.[edit]

The 2006 season was a transition year for the Bayhawks. BT Lax Operating purchased the franchise from the prior ownership group led by the Pivec family. The Bayhawks went 4–8 and missed the playoffs for the first time in its history. Following the season, the new owners announced the team would be renamed the Washington Bayhawks and play around Washington, DC.

The Washington Bayhawks played their first home game of the 2007 season at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Virginia with the subsequent five home games at Georgetown University's Multi-Sport Field. George Mason Stadium served as the primary field for five home games during 2008 with one home game at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Both years the Bayhawks produced losing records, 5–7 and 4–8.

In 2009, the Bayhawks returned to Maryland for good and signed a three-year agreement with the US Naval Academy for their home games.[1] A permanent home did not help the Bayhawks on the field, they finished with another 5–7 season.

Dynasty in Annapolis[edit]

In March 2010, the Bayhawks announced a new ownership group, Hometown Lacrosse, LLC led by majority owner Brendan Kelly. The Bayhawks also announced that the team name would be changed to the Chesapeake Bayhawks to include all areas of the region from Northern Maryland to Virginia and Washington, DC to the Eastern Shore. The Bayhawks continued to play at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The team started out 4–6, leading Kelly to fire John Tucker and take over as head coach himself.[2] With Kelly's leadership, the team finished the 2010 season at 6–6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The Bayhawks defeated the Boston Cannons 13–9 in the semifinals, and won the Steinfeld Trophy for the third time with another 13–9 victory over their archrivals, the Long Island Lizards.[3]

After a rollercoaster season and another 6–6 record in 2011, the Bayhawks were defeated by the Boston Cannons in a close match-up in the playoffs at home. In the off-season, the team made some major changes when Kelly stepped down as head coach and promoted Dave Cottle from assistant coach to head coach. Cottle immediately brought in Tony Resch to serve as his defensive coordinator. In 2012 they recaptured the Steinfeld Cup, defeating the Denver Outlaws 16–6 in the final.[4]

The Bayhawks repeated as MLL champions in 2013, defeating the Charlotte Hounds 10–9 in the final.[5]

Playoff drought[edit]

Rochester at Chesapeake, 2011

After their third title in four years in 2013, the Bayhawks missed the playoffs in the following four seasons, the second time in franchise history. In 2016, seven teams finished tied atop the standings at 8-6, including the Bayhawks. Due to tiebreaker procedures, the Bayhawks were left out of the playoffs.

In 2017, the Bayhawks started the season 3-1, but a four-game losing streak put them in a bad position at 3-5. The Bayhawks were finally able to regain some momentum but were ultimately eliminated with a loss during the second-to-last week of the regular season. They finished the season on a high note though, a 23-19 victory over the defending champion Denver Outlaws. In the game, rookie Josh Byrne scored seven goals and finished 2017 with the Major League Lacrosse record for goals in a season for a rookie with 39.[6] The win put them at an even 7-7, but did not prevent them from extending their playoff drought to four seasons. On September 14, the Bayhawks announced that head coach Brian Reese would not be returning because the team wanted a full-time coach, the league's first.[7]

The Bayhawks are developing plans for a $40 million 10,000-seat stadium in Crownsville that would include a three-story team headquarters.[2] The project's first phase would be a 6,000 seat amphitheater that the Bayhawks hope to be playing in by 2020, while phase two would include 20 youth fields. However, the local community has raised significant objections to the plans.[8]

Rivalry[edit]

The Bayhawks' biggest rival is the New York Lizards. They have faced each other in five Steinfeld Cup championships: the first three, in 2005, and in 2010. The Lizards won in 2001 and 2003, the Bayhawks in 2002, 2005, and 2010. Both Long Island and the Baltimore area also claim bragging rights to be the top "hotbed" of producing lacrosse talent.[9]

Roster[edit]

2018 Chesapeake Bayhawks
# Name Nationality Position Height Weight College
 0 John Maloney United States M 6 ft 2 in 185 lb Albany
 3 Matt Abbott United States M 6 ft 2 in 185 lb Syracuse
 4 Lyle Thompson Iroquois A 6 ft 0 in 180 lb Albany
 5 Colin Heacock United States M 6 ft 3 in 210 lb Maryland
 6 Nathan Lewnes United States A 5 ft 9 in 180 lb UMBC
 7 Nick Manis United States M 6 ft 0 in 190 lb Maryland
 9 C.J. Costabile United States D 6 ft 1 in 197 lb Duke
12 Ryan Tucker United States M 6 ft 2 in 200 lb Virginia
13 Niko Amato United States G 5 ft 8 in 185 lb Maryland
15 Myles Jones United States M 6 ft 5 in 235 lb Duke
18 Domenic Sebastiani United States M 6 ft 0 in 190 lb Delaware
24 Stephen Kelly United States M / FO 5 ft 10 in 180 lb North Carolina
26 Isaiah Davis-Allen United States M 6 ft 2 in 180 lb Maryland
30 Brian Phipps United States G 5 ft 9 in 190 lb Maryland
33 Michael Evans United States D 6 ft 0 in 220 lb Johns Hopkins
36 Jesse Bernhardt United States D 6 ft 0 in 200 lb Maryland
37 Ben Williams United States FO / M 5 ft 11 in 192 lb Syracuse
40 Matt Danowski United States A 6 ft 0 in 200 lb Duke
42 Josh Byrne United States A 6 ft 3 in 200 lb Hofstra
45 Jason Noble Canada D 5 ft 10 in 165 lb Cornell
54 Jake Froccaro United States M 6 ft 1 in 195 lb Nova
66 Nick Aponte United States A 6 ft 1 in 195 lb Penn State
Steele Stanwick United States A 6 ft 0 in 180 lb Virginia
  • Off-season 23-player protected roster updated 2017-11-26

MLL award winners[edit]