Team already planning a return trip to Canada next year
Nadzitsaga Lacrosse traveled to Six Nations Reserve of the Grand River Nation (Brantford, Ontario area) to play in the inaugural Six Nations High School Field Lacrosse Invitational Tournament May 24-26, and lost in the Gold Medal Game to Assumption College School 10-7.
There were eight high school teams, including Nadzitsaga, competing in the tournament. Nadzitsaga was the only team from the United States. Most teams were native teams, or primarily made up of native lacrosse players from various communities in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Teams representing the Six Nations (Iroquois Confederacy-Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Mohawk and Tuscarora nations), Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve (Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi Nations) and Mi’ kmaq People. Nadzitsaga had an eclectic group of players, which included players of white, Native Pacific Islander, Bitterroot Salish, Apache, Cherokee/Choctaw, and Mohawk descent.
The Nadzitsaga team was comprised of six local players, five players from Sisters and Mountain View high schools, two from Swift Lacrosse (Corvallis), two from Polson, Mont. (Flathead Indian Reservation) and four from Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve near Montreal, Quebec.
Players from Nadzitsaga had first priority to participate in this trip. Next, players from other programs that approach and play the game in a manner that is consistent with the Nadzitsaga philosophy were invited.
On Wednesday, May 22, Nadzitsaga scrimmaged Assumption College School and lost 12-8.
Assumption is located in Brantford, Ontario, and the lacrosse team is 90 percent-plus Six Nations players. This team is made up of players from the “first families” of Six Nations lacrosse. “This was a good game and good opportunity for our team to play together prior to the start of the tournament and get used to a different style of play,” Nadzitsaga coach Rick Roy said. “Lacrosse in Canada is much more physical and intense than it is in Oregon. The skill level is extremely high, and field lacrosse is heavily influenced by box lacrosse (indoor version) and ice hockey. I think we played very well, and I think we surprised ourselves and Assumption.
“Assumption is one of the best high school lacrosse programs in all of Ontario. They have very little competition in their league. I think it spoke volumes that our kids could compete with them.”
Kinnon Roy led Nadzitsaga with four goals, Dan LaFranier two goals, Isaiah Glatz and Jordan Daugherty each had one goal.
On Friday, May 24, Nadzitsaga played two games on the opening day of the tournament. In the first game of the day, Nadzitsaga faced Governor Simcoe High School and came away with a dominating 17-1 victory.
“This was the first game where we had our entire roster of players together,” Roy said. “It was as if these kids had been playing together all season. They just gelled and played lacrosse at a very high level. It was impressive.”
LaFranier scored five goals and had three assists, K. Roy two goals, Rohsennatekha (Tekha) DeLaronde one goal, Cougar Shakaienkwarathon Kirby one goal and one assist, Seneiu Maitland one goal, Isaiah Glatz three goals, Jens Stadeli one goal, Scotty Nelson one goal, Mariam Branson one assist, Tekanatoken (Token) Lahache three goals.
In the second game of the day, Nadzitsaga faced Assumption and lost convincingly 8-1. Roy stated that his team just could not solve their goalie, and the single goal for Nadzitsaga was scored by LaFranier.
On Saturday afternoon, Nadzitsaga faced Our Lady of Mount Carmel from Toronto and won 8-3. LaFranier scored three goals and had an assist, Glatz, Stadeli, Nelson, Delaronde and Tomas Meade each had one goal. Maitland and Lahache each had an assist.
Later in the day, Nadzitsaga faced Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School and won 8-5. The offense was lead by LaFranier with three goals and an assist, Kirby with two goals, Delaronde one goal, Nelson and Maitland one goal. Lahache had three assists, and Glatz and K. Roy each had an assist.
In the Gold Medal Game, Nadzitsaga faced Assumption for the third time in five days and came up short 10-7 in a hard-fought and intense game.
“We actually took the lead in this game but could not hold on to it for the championship,” Roy said. “We played well, but a couple of unforced errors turned into goals for Assumption, and our fate was sealed.”
K. Roy led the offense with three goals, Kirby had a goal and three assists, Nelson, Stadeli and Taylor Klus each scored once.
“All in all, I think we did remarkably well at the tournament. I do not think anyone could conceive that Nadzitsaga would perform so well against some high caliber competition,” Roy said. “After all, most of the kids on the team have only been playing lacrosse for five to six years. We are now discussing returning next year.”