When the Riptide arrived in Philadelphia this past September 17 for the first National Lacrosse League Entry Draft in team history, they had not one, but two first round draft picks. With the first overall selection, they took gifted forward Tyson Gibson and then nine picks later they had another selection at 10th overall.
With that pick, the Riptide took defenseman Tyson Bomberry from Syracuse University. With the Orange, the 6’0” 227-pound Bomberry was a three-year starter and an All-American selection as a senior in 2019. Bomberry has grown this season with the Riptide and is enjoying life on Long Island and the chance to grow with a brand-new franchise.
“I love playing here,” said the 23-year old Bomberry who recorded 128 ground balls during his collegiate career. “I love the guys on the team and the coaching staff and everything about the organization. I’m just really happy to be here and being able to be a part of something I think is going to be great.”
While the Riptide bring a 1-9 record into a pair of games this weekend against New England Friday at NYCB Live (7:30 PM on MSG and B/R Live) and Saturday at Rochester (7:00 PM on B/R Live), Bomberry is part of what is going right for the Riptide as he is one of many young players that are gaining valuable experience.
“I know the wins may not show it right now, but I think we’re building something really good here,” said Bomberry. “We have a lot of young guys this year getting more and more experience.”
An injury earlier this season caused Bomberry to miss a couple of games, but over eight contests in his rookie season, the Ohsweken, Ontario native has scooped up 19 loose balls and has caused a pair of turnovers. He continues to make strides each week with every game he plays and all the minutes on the field that he earns.
But he’s also benefited from the presence of veteran defenseman and Riptide captain Dan MacRae. Bomberry has been able to watch MacRae, who captained Calgary to the NLL title last season, and learn what it takes to be a quality defenseman at the highest level of box lacrosse.
“Dan is a great leader,” said Bomberry, who also plays outdoors for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse. “His resume speaks for itself. He knows a lot about the game and helps me out with little pointers here and there. I ask him things like where to be and what looks we should do.”
It certainly wasn’t a surprise that the Riptide had Bomberry high on their draft board prior to the draft. Bomberry played for Riptide General Manager/Head Coach Regy Thorpe and Offensive Coordinator Marshall Abrams with the Six Nations Chiefs in the Major Series Lacrosse of the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
Bomberry was part of three Minto Cup championship teams with Six Nations and now the Riptide are banking on him bringing that winning experience to Long Island.
“Tyson is a guy that we were really familiar with,” said Thorpe. “He’s a high lacrosse IQ person and a very hard-working individual and studious as he watches a lot of film. He’s a great addition for us for this year and for following years so we’re happy with his progression.”
While many players in the NLL live in their hometown and travel each week to where their team is playing whether it’s home or away, Bomberry is living on Long Island during the season as he shares a house in Long Beach with teammates Jean-Luc Chetner, Jake Fox, and Connor Kelly.
It’s been a mild winter on Long Island so Bomberry is loving everything that the area has to offer.
“I love it,” said Bomberry. “We’re right near the beach so we definitely go to the beach a lot. Even though it’s kind of cold, I’ll go for some runs on the beach.”
Being in market during the season has also afforded Bomberry and some of the other players the opportunity to be active in the community whether it’s hospital visits, coaching clinics and camps or helping out at schools with anti-bullying and anti-vaping programs. Bomberry has also been spending some time in the Riptide office to see the inner workings of a sports franchise.
As part of a new franchise, being visible in the community is important to the growth of the organization.
“It’s awesome to be a part of the franchise and see how things work in the office but also be able to do some community outreach,” said Bomberry. “It’s really nice to get out in the community and try to help out the community but also give back to it and be part of it and immerse yourself in it.”
Tyson Bomberry has been a regular contributor to the Riptide defense in his rookie. He’s learning his craft with on the job training and his experience along with what he’s learned from the veterans on the team is going to help him be a mainstay on the team for years to come, especially when the wins start to come and the team becomes a contender.