navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle snapchat-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square google history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

Local Star Mike Sawyer Announces Retirement From Hounds, MLL

May 6, 2016
CHARLOTTE, NC (May 6, 2016) — The Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse today announced the voluntary retirement of attackman Mike Sawyer. After playing three full seasons of professional lacrosse, and two games in 2016, Sawyer has opted to focus on furthering his off-field career opportunities. 


“It’s just a very time-consuming league and it’s very tough to balance your work schedule and playing on the weekends and trying to stay in shape,” said Sawyer. “It was tough to balance all that and at the same time stepping up and trying to turn a new page in my work career at C&S Mechanical. It’s time to readjust the priorities and figure out what’s most important.”

C&S Mechanical is a Charlotte-based contractor that specializes in commercial HVAC sales and installation. The company was founded by Sawyer’s father, Ken Sawyer, in the late 1980s. Mike Sawyer currently serves as Vice President of Operations. He knew going into 2016 that this would likely be his last MLL season, but had hoped he could make it to the end. “I thought I could balance it all and get through one more season but things progress in a a different way and I had to cut it short. I’m taking on a lot more responsibility at C&S Mechanical as I get older and it’s very time consuming being in construction, especially during the summers, and that just happens to be when MLL has their season as well so it becomes even more difficult.”

Sawyer grew up in Waxhaw, N.C., and was a 2008 graduate of Charlotte Catholic High School. He went on to play four years of Division I lacrosse as Loyola University-Maryland. The attackman racked up 154 points on 128 goals and 26 assists, as well as played a key role in the Greyhounds’ 2012 National Championship. That same season Sawyer was a Tewaaraton Award finalist and earned USILA All-America Second-Team Honors, as well as All-ECAC First Team and ECAC All-Championship Team. 

The Hounds selected Sawyer with their first pick (8th overall) of the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft and he more than lived up to the team’s expectations. Sawyer made his MLL debut on May 17 against the Hamilton Nationals, tallying his first professional goal and adding two assists. He appeared in a total of 11 regular-season games during 2013, compiling 14 goals and six assists. Not only did Sawyer earn a spot on the MLL All-Star roster, he set a new record during the game for fastest lacrosse shot at 114mph (the previous record was 111mph). But it was during the Hounds' postseason run that Sawyer truly broke out, scoring six goals in two games, including his first career 2-pointer. The Hounds beat the previously undefeated Denver Outlaws 17-14 in the semi-finals but ultimately fell to the Chesapeake Bayhawks 10-9 in the title game.

Sawyer continued to improve in his second MLL season, playing a mix of midfield and attack. He posted a team-high 24 goals in 2014, three of which were 2-pointers, marking another team high. He finished the season with 29 points, third-best on the Hounds’ offense. In 2015, Sawyer recorded 21 goals and six assists in 13 regular-season games. The attackman’s best performance came against the Florida Launch on July 11, when he tallied a personal best five goals plus one assist for six points. Sawyer was held pointless in just one game during all of the 2015 season.

In the first two games of 2016, before deciding to officially retire, Sawyer contributed three goals and two assists for the Hounds. He was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game on Saturday, April 30, following the 14-11 victory over the Rattlers in which he tallied four points. 

“Mike Sawyer has been a great representative of what the Charlotte Hounds have stood for over the years,” said Hounds General Manager Mike Cerino. “He has been a team player who has only cared about winning. It has been a pleasure to coach him and to have a front row seat with the Charlotte lacrosse community to witness Mike’s incredible lacrosse career.”

Sawyer finishes his MLL career as the Hounds’ second all-time leader in career points (81) and goals (62), behind only Matt Danowski

“I’m definitely going to miss the fans in Charlotte and competing in front of hometown people and people that coached me or I coached them,” said Sawyer. “Just the atmosphere that Charlotte has put together around this lacrosse team will be hard to forget.”

The Hounds (2-0) are on a bye this weekend but return to American Legion Memorial Stadium on Saturday, May 14, to face the Florida Launch (0-2). Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30pm ET.

** The Hounds encourage you to share your favorite Mike Sawyer lacrosse moments on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #ThankYouMike **