Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 4

Akwesasne team wins Rising Stars Division

Alwesame Reservation. NY: The Kanienkehaka Krunch from Akwesasne are Rising Stars Division title-holders, at the Dick's Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions annual field lacrosse event in the Tampa, Fla., area.

At an event billed as the world's only high school-age club championship in the outdoor version of the sport, the Krunch, coached by St. Regis Indians player Garrett Cree, romped to victory in all of their outings, including a 19-4 run past the Georgia Copperheads in the final.

It was junior-year player Miles Thompson who led the attack for the club from Salmon River Central High School, collecting six points -- he scored four times and added a pair of assists.

But Thompson had plenty of help. Also scoring four times was junior Hank Delisle (one assist) and freshman Seth Oakes (one assist).

Sophomore Lyle Thompson netted two goals and three assists, and freshmen Zachary Hopps (two goals) Ky Tarbell (one), Austin Cavendar (one) and Tokwirishon Goodleaf (one) all scored.

Sophomores Cameron Simpson and Randal Seymour each had two assists in the game played at Wesley Chapel District Park.

The win means the Krunch has an automatic berth in next year's tournament; they can opt to defend their Rising Stars title or move up to the Elite Division.

As of yet undecided, early indications are the Krunch will move up --- what's left to prove in the Rising Stars loop? In the 12-team Toyota Championship bracket, Kanienkehaka steamrolled all of its opponents by double digits in the preliminary round, just as the club did last fall in Connecticut, where, at the Beach Blast event it qualified for a trip to Florida.

In elimination play at Tampa, the Krunch kept their streak alive with routs of the Connecticut Cardinals (14-3 in the quarterfinal round) and Tampa Tribe (17-2 in the semifinal round).

Kanienkehaka is the first-ever Native American team to play at the Dick's Sporting Goods national event.

* In the 27-team Elite Division, the New Westinster Salmonbellies from British Columbia repeated as champs, defeating the Maryland Lacrosse Club 8-7 in a thriller that was tied on four different occasions.


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