Midway through what he had decided would be his final season in the National Lacrosse League, Kevin Buchanan’s world changed.
Just like everyone else, Buchanan was dealing with the realities of a global pandemic in the middle of March and how it would affect his work, family and daily routine. What complicated things for him was the shutdown of the NLL season and where that left him as a lacrosse player.
Wrestling with that he should do, Buchanan decided that wasn’t going to let COVID write the final chapter of a lacrosse story that had started over 20 years ago on the playgrounds in Baltimore. He decided for one more go-around with Chaos LC in the Premier Lacrosse League Championship Series. That way, as he saw it, lacrosse could end of his terms.
“I was a little nerve-wracked,” Buchanan said on the latest episode of the Buckeye Lacrosse Podcast, which can be heard by clicking here. “I was like, ‘am I going to finish on a pandemic? Is COVID going to ruin it?’”
Thanks to the help of a well thought-out and executed plan, COVID didn’t derail Buchanan for his final lap. He joined the Chaos at the PLL’s site outside of Salt Lake City, Utah and stayed for just over three weeks inside its bubble. During that time, not one player tested positive for the virus.
“The PLL did such a fantastic job of being able to put this together,” said Buchanan. “Given where we are as a league, with seven teams and being tour-based, it was a great format. The venue [Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah] was suitable for us to carry out what we needed to do.”
Inside the bubble, there were three rounds of testing and all players followed the CDC social distancing and masking protocols. A total of 522 tests were administered inside the bubble without one positive result.
“The PLL was so dialed into making sure all the players were coming into the bubble safe and they were going to keep all the players around them super safe. As much as everyone wants to play lacrosse, it’s no fun if something happens and derails it and someone gets sick.”
On the field, Buchanan’s final go-around with the Chaos included an improbable run to the Championship Series’ title game. After going winless in pool play, the seventh-seeded Chaos won two playoff games to reach the championship game on Aug. 9. After leading for three quarters against the top-seeded and defending championship Whipsnakes, Chaos eventually lost 12-6.
“The camaraderie was the best,” said Buchanan. “What I love about my journey was getting to know all the guys. There were a lot of teammates that I didn’t really know because we [Chaos] had acquired some new guys and getting to be around them was great.”
For Buchanan’s full interview, which includes more about his lacrosse background and experiences as a player at Ohio State, scroll to the top of the page or CLICK HERE.