In our continuing One on One series of interviews, Lax Philly and Edge of Philly Sports’ own Gary Groob had a chance to sit down with one of the Toronto Rock’s most hard working, and charismatic players…Bill Hostrawser.
GG – As a youngster, how did you get involved in Lacrosse?
BH – A couple of my hockey buddies were going to play, and I thought I would try it out as well.
GG – Coming up in the Orangeville Northmen program (including winning a Minto Cup in 2012). Describe the program, and your time there (coaching, teammates, etc.).
BH – I played my minor lacrosse in Arthur and recieved a letter to come tryout for the Northmen Junior team. I thought it would be a great opportunity.
I ended up making the “B” team, and played there for two years. I still wasn’t the greatest with my stick but the coaches gave me a chance.
My third year of junior, I started off playing on the “B” team, but wasn’t very disciplined. I took a stupid penalty during a game at a bad time, and Josh Sanderson, the GM at the time, gave me the boot from the team. I thought that was it for me with the Northmen, however, I ended up getting a chance to try out with the “A” team, and made it.
I will never forget the times I got to put the Northmen jersey on and battle with so many great teammates. A lot of them still playing in the NLL today (which goes to show the talent that comes out of the ‘ville).
I learned a lot from the coaches. They always pushed me to be better, and taught me a lot about the game itself.
There is a great connection with anyone who has ever put on the Horn Head jersey. You can see it with all the alumni events that get put on.
GG – Coming into the league you were a gritty defenseman not afraid to drop the mitts. You’ve developed your game over the years, now being a force in transition, as well as being a physical presence. What did you do to help make you a more rounded player in today’s NLL?
BH – Watching and listening to all the veterans I have been surrounded by. I’m still learning something new every year to help make me a better player and teammate.
GG – Who would you say you emulate your game after (if anyone)?
BH – I wish I could say Brodie Merril, but…
GG – You’ve been in the league 8 years, what stands out in your mind as the greatest memory of your career?
BH – As much as I liked being part of the Vancouver Stealth team, when Terry Sanderson called telling me I would be playing for the Toronto Rock, it was a dream come true! A moment I will never forget!
GG – Summers with the Oakville Rock, how would you say the MSL has helped develop your game?
BH – The MSL, and summer ball in general, has helped build my confidence in the decision making part of the game, also, in trying to push the ball in transition. It helps when a youngster like Challen Rogers is giving me tips as well.
GG – Best opponent in a fight?
BH – It’s been a while since I’ve been In a fight. The boys chirp me in the room, saying it’s because I’m a dad now, lol.
I will never forget fighting with my buddy Craig England. One of the toughest to come out of Fergus, Ontario.
GG – What do you do for a living outside of Lacrosse?
BH – Fire Protection Installer.
We want to thank Bill for taking the time to talk with us, and wish him the very best in all his future endeavors in and out of the game of lacrosse.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.