Over 10,000 fans came to Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena several weeks ago to watch the Rochester Knighthawks professional lacrosse team play the Buffalo Bandits. Though the Bandits edged the hometown Knighthawks 15-13, to many members of the Rochester Knighthawks’ the evening was much more than just another game.
The National Lacrosse League squad held a Native American Night in conjunction with its contest against the Bandits. Though the shout-out was obviously appropriate for a game held in Iroquois territory, the Knighthawks have another reason they deserved to have such an evening dedicated to Native people.
The Rochester Knighthawks 2015-16 roster had the largest number of Native American players - eight, which is more than any other organization in the nine-team NLL.
Rochester’s Native contingent includes captain Sid Smith (Cayuga Wolf Clan,) who is from Six Nations in Ontario; Cody Jamieson, Craig Point and Quinn Powell, who are all from the Mohawk Turtle Clan, and Joe Maracle (Cayuga Wolf Clan.)
Also on Rochester’s roster are two players from Akwesasne, Adam Bomberry (Cayuga) and Ty Thompson (Mohawk) and goaltender Angus Goodleaf (Mohawk) is from Kahnawake, Quebec.
Several members of the Knighthawks’ staff are also Native, including Curt Styres, the team’s owner and general manager. Styres, who is from Six Nations, is from the Mohawk Turtle Clan.
Two of the Knighthawks’ assistant coaches are also from Six Nations. They are Andy Secore (Konadaha Seneca) and Jason Johnson (Onondaga.)
The Knighthawks just missed the playoffs this season, but they won big with a celebration of their Native fans, and players.