Marcus Holman signs 1-year deal with Cannons LC
By Sarah Griffin
Mar 7, 2023
Free agency began with a boom for Cannons LC as eight-time All-Star attackman Marcus Holman signed a one-year deal with the Boom Squad.
It's the end of an era. The writing has been on the wall since the summer. Now, it's official. The Archers' veteran core is splitting up, with Will Manny inking a two-year deal to join Whipsnakes LC and Holman signing with Cannons LC.
A mainstay on the Archers’ attack since the PLL’s inaugural season, Marcus’s contract was set to expire following the Championship Series. The sixth all-time leading scorer, he was one of the most sought after free agents as soon as the free agency window opened.
Marcus’s father Brian Holman was named head coach of the Cannons last month and immediately began his pursuit of improving his club, as he made roster moves to clear space for the upcoming free agency period.
Along with the Cannons and Archers, Marcus received calls from the Redwoods and Whipsnakes. It doesn’t take a father’s eyes to understand he instantly improves any team’s offense. However, it was not some facile decision for him to make just because his dad is the coach of one of those teams.
“It was a little bittersweet to be honest,” Marcus remarked. “Truthfully there were a lot of discussions and it wasn’t as easy as, ‘Oh, he’s going to play for his dad.’ Ultimately though, my gut was leading me to the Cannons. It’s kind of a fresh start for me. But bias aside because he is my dad, he’s a coach I really trust and believe in.”
For Coach Holman the sentiment reigned the same.
“When the opportunity came for me to get a player like Marcus Holman, and that’s how I looked at it, the personal side is one thing but from the professional side of it, why wouldn’t I want him on my team?”
Despite the father-son connection, Coach Holman left Marcus to make the decision entirely on his own.
“I really didn’t talk to him much about money or contract or anything like that. I just said, ‘We’d love to have you, you fit our program perfectly, but you’ve got to make this decision on your own.’”
Coach Holman said he had a lot of conversations leading up to free agency with current Cannons players about the type of guys they want to be around on the field and in the locker room, and Marcus fit that bill to a T.
“He’s obviously a very good player, a great player, but he’s an even better teammate and human. So when you throw all those things in the pot, it was a no-brainer.”
After a 1-9 regular season and missing the playoffs in 2022, Marcus sees a fire lit under this Cannons team that enticed him.
“It’s guys that are hungry. At this professional level we’re all competitors and most of us have won at some level, whether it’s high school championships, or college championships, or even pro championships and no one likes being in last place. I just sense that there’s a hunger from the group not only as an offense but as a team.”
The Cannons already look much different than they did when they played their last game back in August. With the latest addition of Marcus on attack, they’re beginning to figure out what their offensive identity is going to be. Coach Holman said he envisions Marcus playing a similar-but-elevated role to what he did with the Archers.
“When you look at the Archers lineup, Marcus kind of grew into a certain role. Obviously he was a scorer, a shooter, but he did a lot of dirty work. He set a lot of picks, he worked off-ball, and he was probably one of if not the leading ground ball getter for an attackman in the PLL,” he said.
“Once we define the offense, I think he’s going to dodge a little bit more. He still has that capability in certain sets and to create his own shot. It’s going to be a lot of what Marcus does well, but we want him to be a little bit more active in carrying the ball and the two-man game out on that righty wing.”
Marcus said he’s particularly excited to play alongside Matt Kavanagh, someone who’s game he’s grown very familiar with over the years.
Kavanagh was acquired from Redwoods LC back in November in exchange for John Piatelli and Matt Rahill. The trade laid the groundwork for the future of the Cannons’ offense. After years of competing against one another, including the 2016 MLL Championship when Kavangah’s Denver Outlaws defeated Marcus’s Ohio Machine and then 2017 when Marcus and the Machine got their revenge, the two will be playing on the same side for the first time in their careers.
“I’ve had so many battles with Matt over the years. Obviously we were never guarding each other or anything, but he’s almost been like an arch nemesis of mine going back to big games in the MLL. I respect him so much and the way he plays. I think we play kind of similar - scrappy and hustling.”
As a new era of the Cannons ushers in, both father and son are ready for a new era in their careers.
“We both love the game of lacrosse so much and it’s given us both so much in our lives that I think any time that we’re on a lacrosse field, whether it’s separate or together, we’re going to be excited,” said Marcus.
“I just appreciate him. He’s such a great mentor to so many guys. You know how they say in the corporate world that your happiness depends on who your boss is? I’m excited that I’m familiar with my boss and get to go to work for him…I hope he’s not super hard on me, but that remains to be seen.”
Coach Holman hummed a similar tune, but with one important note.
“If he wasn’t any good I wouldn’t have gone after him, let’s make that clear.”