Aug 15, 2017

jrkhawks1.jpg(August 12, 2017)… The Jr. Knighthawks came out flying to open their inaugural Upstate Box Lacrosse Invitational today at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex. The three Rochester Knighthawks junior teams combined for five wins to set the stage for an exciting final day on Sunday.

The two-day event is being presented by the US Box Lacrosse Association (USBOXLA) and Visit Rochester. The Jr. Knighthawks are competing in the PeeWee, Bantam and Midget divisions. The Bantams finished with a 2-1 mark, while the Midgets were unbeaten with a 2-0 record. The Bantam squad got big six-goal performances from Bryson Green and Caden Padelford. Meanwhile, the Midget team was led by four-goal days from Lukas Stanat and Casey McDermott.

The Jr. Knighthawks PeeWee team finished off the first day with an impressive 11-8 victory over Seneca Elite. Callan Dennis scored a key goal down the stretch to secure the win. After three games, Connor Gorton (four goals) and Mitchell Monte (three goals) are leading the way offensively.

“It was really good (to get the win),” said Dennis. “We played hard all game.”

The Jr. Knighthawks are being coached by their NLL counterparts, Brad Gillies, Luke Laszkiewicz and Josh Currier. Currier, who was an NLL All-Rookie team member, made his coaching debut today. The Peterborough, Ontario native stressed the importance of growing the game over results.

“I don’t think today is so much about winning and losing as much as it is to learning the box game and getting these Americans used to the box game,” said Currier. “It’s only going to help them in their field game as they go along.”

The Jr. Knighthawks rosters are comprised of some of the best talent in the area as players have come from organizations such as Blaze Lacrosse, FCA, Flyers Lacrosse, 3d Lacrosse, Harvest Lacrosse, Sweetlax, Tech Valley Lacrosse, the Tonawanda Braves, Six Nations Warriors, and Onondaga Redhawks.

The roster is a melting pot of kids from places like Albany, Brockport, Brighton, Fairport, Greece, Irondequoit, Pittsford, Penfield, Spencerport, Syracuse, Victor, Webster, Seneca Nation, Six Nations and Onondaga Nation. For Stevie Katz, who plays high school ball at Webster Thomas, it was a chance to play for the same team his dad worked for during the mid-2000s.

“It’s inspirational looking back,” said Stevie, whose dad, Mike, was the Knighthawks equipment manager. “Every Saturday night I used to go and see the professionals play. Now, putting on this jersey is very cool.”

On Sunday, the PeeWee and Bantam Divisions each have one final game before the start of the consolation and championship games.

For tournament scores and updates, go online to www.tourneymachine.com. 

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