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11/24/2012 - 2:00pm

(November 24, 2012)... The Rochester Knighthawks celebrated their 2012 NLL Champion's Cup win with a ring ceremony last night at the Radisson Riverside Hotel before the start of this weekend's training camp. Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres presented the rings to the team commemorating last May's 9-6 comeback victory at home over the Edmonton Rush.

(Pictured left to right: Curt Styres and his sons Hunter, Brandon and Bo, along with Sid Smith)

“It was a journey, but we took the scenic route,” said Styres, who began building his Championship team back in 2003 with the Six Nations Arrows. “I don’t know if it was destiny or luck. But how do you explain how the three to four players we wanted just showed up ready for us.”

Styres was referring to the arrival of Sid Smith and Cody Jamieson in back-to-back seasons. Both players were No. 1 overall picks by the Knighthawks and former stars for the Six Nations Arrows, which are operated by Styres. Johnny Powless (Six Nations) was also on his wish list and the Knighthawks acquired him with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft. Stephen Keogh, who Styres followed in juniors and at Syracuse, was on his dream team. The Knighthawks selected Keogh with the second overall pick.

The Championship was the third in franchise and first won on home turf. The Championship was the first NLL title for Curt Styres, who celebrated with over 260 guests. At the start of the banquet, the Knighthawks received special recognition from the Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards, who declared November 23, 2012 as Rochester Knighthawks Day. The Championship was the first NLL title for Curt Styres, who celebrated with over 260 guests. PHOTO GALLERY OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP BANQUET

“He is successful in business and in everything he does because he surrounds himself with good people,” said Knighthawk Mike Accursi of Styres.

For Mike Kirk, the ring was his first after playing six seasons in the NLL and provided an additional incentive for the 2013 season. The defenseman was acquired by the Knighthawks with the 14th overall selection in the NLL Dispersal Draft of Boston players on September 9, 2011.

“It couldn’t come at a better time,” he said. “It fuels the fire a little more (for this season).”

The festivities marked the beginning of Training Camp for the defending champions. On Saturday, the Knighthawks kicked off Camp with fitness testing from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Total Sports Experience in Gates. The team held its first practice from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The second day of camp is Sunday, November 25th from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. All practices are free and open to the public.

The Knighthawks will host the Minnesota Swarm in a National Lacrosse League preseason game at The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, December 8th at 8:00 p.m. FREE Tickets are available online at Fans must have a ticket to enter the game.

Rochester will begin their title defense on the road against the Washington Stealth to kick off the 2013 NLL regular season on Saturday, January 5th. The team's preseason will be highlighted by an exhibition game in Montreal against the Toronto Rock at Bell Centre on Saturday, December 15th.

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