By Lacrosse Coach Chris Kidger
After classes on Friday, September 21, a group of Hyde Boys Lacrosse players hopped on a bus to make a 4-and-a-half hour trek into the north of Maine.
The destination–Indian Township with an overnight pit stop at the Grant family camp in Grand Lake Stream.
After the long drive, a Ken-Grant-gourmet dinner, an obnoxious 7:30 AM wake up from Coach Kidger, and a morning jump in the lake, the group made their way to Sakabasin Field at Indian Township for the primary objective of the weekend.
In partnership with Corey Hinton, a Portland-based lawyer and member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the group spent the morning teaching the game of lacrosse to children and adults alike before playing in a “Game to Honor the Veterans.”
Hinton spent the early years of his life living on the Reservation at Indian Township before his family made the move to Central New York and took up residence on Onondaga Nation Reservation, home to current Hyde students Jaden Stout ’20 and Gavin Hill ‘PG.
Onondaga is where Hinton was introduced to the sport of lacrosse. After a successful high school career at Niskayuna, he earned a scholarship to play Division 1 lacrosse at Colgate and later would earn his way to compete as a member of the Iroquois National Lacrosse Team.
While lacrosse has been played by the Passamaquoddy for much of their history, the sport has been lost to them within the past 200 years. Hinton, along with other influential members of the tribe, are working to reestablish the sport on the reservations at both Indian Township and Pleasant Point.
Tribal Council member Aaron Dana, addressing the group before the Game to Honor the Veterans, said, “I want to thank you all for being here and helping us to reclaim our game, a sport that is entrenched in our culture, but has been lost to us.”
In talking about the experience, Hyde student Jaden Stout said, “Growing up in Onondaga, lacrosse is a huge part of my life and our culture. It is something we are responsible to teach and pass down to those who are younger than ourselves. I have relatives that are Passamaquoddy, coming here and having the opportunity to see the smiles on kids’ faces while we pass on our game is something I will remember for a long time. I can’t wait to have the chance to do this again.”
As a next step in helping the Passamaquoddy reclaim their sport, Hyde Boys Lacrosse will be hosting an equipment drive. If you have old lacrosse equipment you would be interested in donating, please contact Coach Kidger at firstname.lastname@example.org.