The Thompson Brothers Are The Native American Pride In Lacrosse


By Andres Carrillo,

The sport of Lacrosse was invented centuries ago by Native Americans and it continues to evolve today in way people never imagined. The rules of the game have greatly changed, but for Lyle Thompson and his older brothers: Jeremy, Jerome Jr. and Miles, the notion of playing for a higher purpose remains. The game was regarded as a gift from the Creator and was to be played for his enjoyment and presumed to possess healing properties.

The sport has always been a big part of the the Thompson brother’s life, and it is now more meaningful than ever. All of the Thompson brothers are members of the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team, for which Thompson Sr., their father, played in 1990. The Nationals are the only Native American team that is sanctioned to compete as its own country in international play, a distinction that inspires the Thompsons every time they don the team’s purple and yellow jerseys.


In the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship, the four brothers put their talents on display as the Nationals went on to win the team’s first-ever bronze medal at the World Championships and Jeremy and Lyle were both named to the All-World Team.


This Fall The Six Nations will host the tournament, marking the first time it will take place on Native American lands.


The Thompson brothers will have the opportunity of a lifetime to show the world and their community the importance of the sport and the great value they place on it. Despite all of the awards and accolades that are given, the brothers retain lacrosse’s greater meaning. “I’m playing for a much different purpose, and that’s for the Creator. It’s for medicine; it’s for my community,” Lyle says. “The game is part of our religion.”
via: Nike

Ty Thompson Is First Athlete to be Endorsed by Major Lacrosse Company

Epoch LacrosseTy Thompson becomes Epoch Lacrosse's first endorsed athlete

Epoch Lacrosse
Ty Thompson becomes Epoch Lacrosse’s first endorsed athlete


Indian Country Today


Minneapolis, MN – August 12, 2014 — Two-time Division I All-American and Rochester Rattler rookie Ty Thompson has signed an agreement with Epoch Lacrosse making him the company’s first endorsed athlete. The pride of the Mohawk Nation, and the fourth all-time leading scorer at the University at Albany, will be representing Epoch Lacrosse at camps/clinics nationwide and providing Epoch’s engineers with real world feedback in the development of future products.

Thompson uses Epoch’s Dragonfly Gen.5 C30 iQ5 shaft with a Thompson i6 head tied up with Epoch’s Otter Mesh. “The first time I picked up one of Epoch’s shafts I was blown away by how perfect it felt,” Thompson said in a news release.

“Plus, Otter Mesh is one of the lightest, easiest to string and most durable pieces of mesh out there.”

RELATED: Watch: Ty Thompson Scores First Goal as a Major League Lacrosse Player

He went on to say, “When it came time to decide which company I wanted to work with it wasn’t a difficult decision at all. James and everyone at Epoch treated me like family. I am really looking forward to working with Epoch and Thompson Lacrosse to not only create the most advanced lacrosse equipment on the market, but products that honor the game of lacrosse and its heritage.”

Thompson finished his career at the University at Albany with 154 goals and will go down in history as one of the most creative scorers in Division I history.

He was acquired 28th overall in the 2014 MLL collegiate draft by the Rochester Rattlers and will also be playing for Team Adrenaline Lacrosse in the LXM Pro Tour this fall with Epoch equipment.

“Ty and his family’s heritage bring an authenticity to the game that other athletes can’t provide,” said Ryan Hurley, National Sales Representative at Epoch Lacrosse. “We are really looking forward to having Ty’s input into the development of our products and working with him to help grow the game of lacrosse.”



Iroquois Weather Storm, Pull Away from Australia

Iroquois  Lacrosse

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive | World Lacrosse 2014

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Iroquois Nationals weathered the storm, and took it to the Sharks.

After a two-hour weather delay on Monday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Lyle Thompson and company scored four straight goals out of the break to take control of what was a tie game when the teams headed for shelter, and the Iroquois beat Australia 12-10 in a Blue Division pool play tilt that ended ten minutes short of midnight.

Lyle Thompson scored four goals, including one after the delay to put the Nationals up 10-8 after Jeremy Thompson broke the knotted affair in the waning seconds of the third quarter.

Severe weather delayed the game with 2:37 left in the third quarter and the score tied at 8. Heavy rain, wind and lightening arrived around 9:25 p.m. local time and didn’t leave for more than 90 minutes, after which the teams had a brief warmup and went off and running before a small, but vocal crowd.

The Iroquois went up 12-8, and Australian attackman Nathan Stiglich scored two straight to cut into the lead with less than two minutes left. But the Nationals won the ensuing faceoff on a violation and ran out the rest of the clock.

Iroquois faceoff man Vaughn Harris won 11-of-17 faceoffs, and Jeremy Thompson went 5-for-7 while Australia goalie Tom Vickery finished with 13 saves.

Pool play concludes Tuesday. The Iroquois, who improved to 3-1 in the Blue Division, plays the United States (4-0) at 5 p.m. local time, and Australia (2-2) takes on Canada (3-1) in the final Blue Division tilt before elimination games begin. The top two teams in the division earn byes to the semifinal round, held Thursday.

An Emmy-Winning Producer’s Doc About Lacrosse’s Native Origins

By Vincent Shilling, Indian Country Today Media Network

Dennis Deninger, an Emmy-winning production executive, was one of the first coordinating producers of ESPN’s SportsCenter. He has produced live sports television from six continents and across the United States; he has currently set his sights to produce a documentary entitled America’s First Sport, on the history of lacrosse.

In an interview with ICTMN, Deninger, who is also a professor of practice in sports management at Syracuse University, talked about what he has learned in the process of making the documentary, and where he sees lacrosse going in the future.

How did your film get started?
I started teaching a course in the fall semester of 2012 called the History of Sport. We took students from the first accounts of sport being observed in the United States—which was lacrosse, when the Jesuits saw it in the 1630s for the first time—all the way up through the first Kentucky Derby, the origins of baseball, the invention of basketball, Teddy Roosevelt’s role in founding the NCAA and up to the present

Legends of the sacred game: Deninger with Jacques, left, Chief Powless, top, and Stenersen. (Courtesy Dennis Deninger)
Legends of the sacred game: Deninger with Jacques, left, Chief Powless, top, and Stenersen. (Courtesy Dennis Deninger)

day. That was the first two months of the semester—the last month of the semester, we focused on one topic. This year it was lacrosse. Each of our 15 students had to do a final research project that focused on lacrosse, and we’ve taken that research and hired a production company to work with us.

Who have you interviewed for the documentary?
We are not completely done, but we have interviewed 46 people so far. It’s going to be tough because this is only a one-hour documentary, so nobody gets to talk for more than a minute. We have strict rules here. [Laughs.] We’ve been to Baltimore to interview Steve Stenersen, the president and chief executive officer of U.S. Lacrosse. I interviewed Neal Powless who is an assistant director of the Native Student Program here at Syracuse; I also interviewed [Onondaga] Chief Irving Powless. There is a long list of lacrosse standouts in the Powless family. We also visited Alf Jacques, an Onondaga lacrosse stick-maker. It’s amazing to watch the stick being created—we were in the workshop for a few hours.

I talked to a number of Native American players and coaches, including Darris and Rich Kilgour [Tuscarora Nation] of the Buffalo Bandits in the National Lacrosse League. We’ve talked to women and men players. There is a young man who is a freshman at Onondaga Community College, Warren Hill, a goalie for the Iroquois Nationals. He grew up on Six Nations in southern Ontario. He is an all-world goalie and so humble about his accomplishments.

We sat down with Stan Cockerton, the president of the Federation of International Lacrosse. We found out about the effort to make lacrosse an Olympic sport again. We spoke with Jim Calder who is a co-author of Lacrosse, The Ancient Game. I spoke with Curt Styres, the owner of a Major League Lacrosse and a National Lacrosse League franchise. I also talked to him about the Lacrosse for Development Program, which is helping to fund an effort to put hundreds of sticks into the hands of indigenous young people to develop their knowledge of the ancient and sacred origins of the sport.

I have heard [Onondaga Turtle Clan Faithkeeper and Iroquois Nationals honorary chairman] Oren Lyons speak, and we are still waiting to interview him. I don’t want to go on without having his voice in this.

One of the longest interviews was with Chief Powless in his home. He is in his 80s now and confined to a wheelchair. We talked for over an hour and he told me wonderful stories of when he was 144 pounds playing against [NFL and lacrosse legend] Jim Brown. He talked about his knowledge of the hip bump and how he knocked Jim Brown on his back. When we stopped the interview, he says ‘Dennis, is that it? There’s so much more to tell!’ And that is true, there is so much more to tell.

When is this film due to be finished?
It will serve as the centerpiece for a symposium we are planning at Syracuse University on April 22 (Read more: ‘America’s First Sport’ Lacrosse Documentary Premiere and Symposium TODAY). We will play the film and have guests talk about the current state of lacrosse and the issues it faces, and where it is headed. We are hopeful to get an air date on the local PBS station and beyond that. We set our standards pretty high. If it goes beyond the local PBS station, that would be wonderful.

Where do you see lacrosse going?

I see a distinct trend toward making it more diverse. It separated in the 1860s and 1870s, when the Europeans set down rules. They said the Natives are professionals and professionals can’t play—because they were too damn good! The sport separated at that time.

What is encouraging to me is to see lacrosse programs get diverse youth involved, the recognition Native players are getting and how there is an opportunity for the Iroquois Nationals to compete as a team at the Olympics beginning in 2024. How exciting would that be?

I think there are wonderful things that lie ahead for lacrosse.

Related story:

Cinderella Story: Iroquois Ironmen Win Creator’s Cup Lacrosse Title