The 21-year-old Warman resident is hoping to become the first local lacrosse player to make the regular season roster of the Saskatchewan Rush.
The 6-foot, 165-pound defender was selected in the 6th round, 58th overall by the Rush in the National Lacrosse League draft after taking part in the league combine in Toronto.
Wallborg said the first day of training camp was extremely nerve-wracking.
“Really nervous, like shaking nervous,” said Hallborg who felt much better once he hit the floor.
“After warmup’s I settled in a little bit, shooting got a little bit better, started getting the systems in and just progressively getting a little bit better as I get along here.”
Hallborg knew he would be up against much faster and bigger opponents after spending last season with the Jr-A Saskatoon Swat. However, there is another aspect of the game that was much more challenging on the pro floor.
“The thing I noticed the most is how smart these guys are and that’s a huge learning curve trying to keep up with them, they are all just really intelligent lacrosse players.”
Hallborg also had had to adjust to a new defensive system with the Rush.
“They run something completely different from what I’m used to and it is a better system but it’s tough to get your reaction times up,” said Hallborg who felt he was getting the hang of the new defensive scheme. “I’m learning as best as I can, but it’s tough for sure.”
Head Coach and GM Derek Keenan has been pleased with Hallborg’s progress
“He’s a really good athlete, fast, pretty good skills, he’s just a little behind in terms of the level, the Jr-A level here (Saskatchewan) is different than the Jr-A level in Ontario and British Columbia, so he is a little bit behind in the learning curve but we really like what we see and he’s a really good kid.”
Hallborg has played in both preseason games including Saturday’s 24-9 win over Georgia at SaskTel Centre with family and friends on hand.
Keenan and his staff have until Friday to decide on Saskatchewan’s 20-man roster and four practice roster players and Hallborg hopes to see his name posted. However, if he isn’t able to trade in his season’s ticket for a spot on the Rush bench this season, Hallborg is hopeful that will happen in 2018-19 when the league expands by two teams.
Rush training camp resumes Dec. 1 in Toronto and comes back to Saskatoon Dec 8-9. The regular season opens Dec. 16 in Toronto against the Rock with the home opener set for Dec. 16 against former goalie Aaron Bold and the New England Blackwolves.