Harlem Lacrosse - New York Visits the Onondaga Nation
Sixteen student-athletes from Promise Academy 2 and P.S. 76 traveled to Auburn, New York for an overnight trip in partnership with The Upstate Lacrosse Association.
Our student-athletes were honored to begin their journey on The Onondaga Nation, where Kent Lyons, a veteran of two World Lacrosse Championships, welcomed our students to the Onondaga indoor box arena to learn about the origins of “The Creator’s Game.” Kent spoke of lacrosse as the lifeblood of the six nations, introduced our students to Onondaga culture and showed them traditional wooden sticks that took over nine months to build. The experience had our students spellbound and drove home the incredible power of lacrosse to teach lessons, build relationships, and widen horizons for all of our student-athletes.
The group then headed to Everest Park for the opening weekend tournament. Over 170 teams from across New York participated, and we were welcomed with a BBQ prepared by the Upstate Lacrosse Association staff. Students spent the evening watching lacrosse, playing catch by the pond and getting to know the members of the UL community.
In the morning, students woke up early and headed to Auburn Jr. High School to watch more of the ULA opening weekend games and hit the fields themselves. They played games against local teams and then partnered with players from Auburn for some fun-filled intra-squad competition. Before leaving, the ULA treated students to ice cream and food from the grill, and by day’s end it was hard to imagine that the Harlem Lacrosse and Auburn players had only just met.
It was an unforgettable day where great memories were made, enduring friendships were formed, and new lessons were learned by all!
The goodbyes were not easy for us and many wished we could have stayed longer as we packed up the vans and headed back down to New York City. The long car ride home felt much shorter as it was filled with storytelling about the weekend and questions about the next time we could connect with our incredible partners in the ULA and The Onondaga Nation.
Huge thanks to everyone at the ULA (Upstate Lacrosse Association) for making this past weekend so unforgettable for the Harlem Lacrosse players. Special thanks to Kevin and Noel from the ULA and the two host families, Mrs. and Mr. Cox and Mrs. and Mr. Locastro. We will also always be grateful to Shirley and Kent for meeting us at the Onondaga Nation Arena and giving us a tour and sharing their history and the history of lacrosse with our scholars.