During this COVID-19 pandemic, people of all walks of life stepped up for each other. With their backs up against the wall, these heroes persevered and helped others to get through the pandemic together. New York Riptide veteran forward, Dan Lomas, understands the grind and adversity of life. When COVID-19 hit his home of Ontario, the native new he needed to help. His friend Travis Kanellos, a small business owner himself, and Lomas decided to create a non-profit organization called Fund The Grind to help small businesses that were struggling to keep their “open sign” up. The two partners raised over $45,447 and 20,000 in the first week and overachieved their goal by 10,000 at week’s end.
The people that they helped, all had great adversity, but one stands out to #4 of the Riptide, that is the woman that owns a small gym in Ontario, Almonte Fitness Center:
“Obviously, when things were shut down it was hard for them,” Lomas said. “But, they did have some capital left over so they started renovating the gym. They wanted to make it better for the community so that the community could kind of rally around the gym once things opened back up, and partway through all the renovations, her husband tragically passed away from a heart attack. She continued on though and the entire community rallied around her and, and she took the business on her own shoulders and, and wanted to keep running things.”
The 28 year-old has had his own personal challenges with mental health and letting the game of lacrosse bear too much unnecessary weight. The high draft pick came in with high expectations. He was the 16th pick overall in the 2016 NLL draft, entering the league as High Point University’s leading scorer, with 159 career goals;
Lomas spent two seasons with Rochester, and ranked top five on the team in points, with 38. There was a downfall, in 2018, where he only played one game and was released. The Vancouver Warriors picked Lomas up but once again, the High Point standout only played a few games. Lomas knew that his efforts weren’t enough and had to change his attitude towards the game. He did just that, when the Riptide gave him a chance to join the team for the 2019 – 2020 campaign.
Lomas’ stats were flooring in his inaugural season with the Riptide. He finished the season playing in 13 games and led the team in goals, with 21.
“I’ve kind of developed this sense of paranoia that there’s somebody out there that we’ve drafted or somebody out there that’s going to come to camp, that’s doing something that I’m not doing to get better,” Lomas said.
Lomas has high expectations for New York’s 2021-22 season after an eventful 2020 offseason, as the organization brought in General Manager Jim Veltman and Head Coach Dan Ladouceur, signed Callum Crawford as a free agent, and drafted Jeff Teat. Now with one season in the books, and a one-year extension signed with the Riptide earlier this month, Lomas is now one of the leaders of the team on the field, and even off the field, as last year he served as the team DJ in the locker room. Lomas wasn’t quick to forget his roots though: he credits High Point head coach Jon Torpey, once again, for teaching him the skills that he possess as one of the go to guys on the team.
“He really wanted to hammer home on all of us that there’s no individual more important than the team,” Lomas said. “If your best players and your hardest workers are your best leaders, then you can take your team very far because you’re going to get buy-in from the rest of the locker room. It’s one of the things I really loved about my time there.”