The Ohio Machine has named midfielder Kyle Harrison, goalie Brian Phipps and attackman Marcus Holman as team captains for the 2015 season, announced Tuesday by Machine Vice President & Head Coach Bear Davis. The three were voted by their teammates following the last day of training camp on Sunday.
Entering into his eleventh year in the league, Harrison was named a captain by his teammates for a second straight season. Last year, Harrison posted his best statistical season ever in MLL, which was his first for the Machine, racking up 33 points and 86 shots with 54 of those on goal.
“Kyle is our guy,” Davis said in a press release. “The rest of the guys look to him for answers and he knows what to do. I always expect great leadership out of him.”
As a captain during the 2014 season, Harrison was named the Machine’s team MVP and was also a member of Team USA in the All-Star game. Harrison also notched one of his most important shots of the season, scoring the game winning overtime goal against Denver on July 26 that played a key role in helping the Machine secure its first-ever playoff appearance.
“Kyle is the guy for us that has kind of been there and done that,” Davis said. “He has been on great teams and not so great ones so he knows how to handle most situations.”
“This team is full of leaders,” Harrison said in the press release. “Vocal leaders, emotional leaders, and folks who lead by example. In order for us to be successful, and reach our goal of winning a championship, we all have to lead in our own way.”
Brian Phipps enters his fifth season in the league and fourth with the Machine, making him one of a few roster members who have been on the team since their inaugural season in 2012.
“It’s an honor to be elected captain for the 2015 season,” Phipps said in the press release. “It’s been an awesome experience being with the Machine since its beginning and being part of the growth. Last year we exceeded expectations but came up short. This year we have a great group of guys ready to work and reach our ultimate goal.”
He, along with Harrison, was also selected to serve as a captain for the second consecutive season.
“Brian is a seasoned veteran in the cage,” Davis said. “He understands the pulse of the team and will be a strong returning captain for the guys.”
Marcus Holman is entering his third season in the league, all of which have been for the Machine, and for the first time in his career he was named a team captain.
And it’s not surprising why. He was named the Machine’s Offensive Player of the Year for last season after he led MLL in goals (37), tied for the team’s best in points (50), had 71 shots (56 on goal) and scooped up 26 groundballs.
“It’s an honor to be named a captain of this team,” Holman said in the press release. “This is going on my third year in the league and I feel as though I am ready to take the next step forward as a leader in this organization.”
Holman knows that parlaying off of last year’s success will not only lie with him but the other two captains as well as an experienced bunch of guys who can perform both on and off the field without having to be guided into making the right decisions.
“I have two veteran captains to lead with in Brian and Kyle, who I believe are the core of this team,” Holman said. “We have a really great group of guys on and off the field, who, honestly, don’t need much leadership and because of that I am really excited for what we can accomplish this season.”
Despite being in only his third year in the league and the only first-year captain of the group, Coach Davis is confident in Holman’s ability to lead.
“Marcus is a tremendous leader who leads by example on and off the field,” Davis said. “He is always positive and a great motivator. He is a fun guy to coach and fun guy to play with.”
Coach Davis and the Machine will be taking the field for the first time this season when they travel to Long Island, N.Y. on Sunday, April 12 against the New York Lizards. They then return home and will have their home opener at Ohio Dominican’s Selby Stadium on Sunday, April 19 at 1 p.m. when they take on the defending champion Denver Outlaws.