U19 Girls Box Lacrosse team gains provincial notoriety

SIX NATIONS – As girls box lacrosse continues to grow, so do the opportunities for players.

This year the very first U19 Girls Box Lacrosse Team will enter the Native American Indigenous Games (NAIG), and the players that are a part of the team have been knitted into news stories that will reach across the province.

The team will be put into a CBC documentary in the near future.

Bench staff includes Head Coach Patrick Pembleton and Assistant Coach Jessica Clermont, who both want nothing but the best of opportunities for their players.

Clermont said she feels “humbled” to be able to be a part of the team that is making history.

“Myself I feel pretty lucky and pretty humbled,” said Clermont. “These girls are kinda paving the way for younger generations of females to play box lacrosse — and that’s pretty special.”

Head Coach Patrick Pembleton discusses defensive moves to his hand-chosen defensive players. Photo by Chezney Martin
The players have been putting in work since early this year, and have been recognized by several news outlets. Photo by Chezney Martin

As Pembleton is also a scout for MCC out of Rochester for field programs for both men and women, and has coached Senior ‘B’ Women’s Lacrosse, he is very familiar with the dynamics of working with a girls team.

“Watching these girls now, there’s a few of them that I was going to ask if they’re looking to go to school,” said Pembleton. “I can actually send them over to a good program, tuition-free as long as they’re there for lacrosse to start.”

For what has been running blind to most scouts that seek out only players with field lacrosse background, comes naturally to Pembleton who sees the girls that play box lacrosse as easier to transition to field.

And once the players make the transition, he’s found that they are far stronger players than girls with solely field background.

“A lot of field lacrosse players that come were great field lacrosse players, but when it came to box they were less than average players because they weren’t used to be closed in or the contact.

But when you’ve got a good lacrosse player that’s box, when he or she goes to field, he or she is phenomenal because they’ve got more space to do what they need to do.”

This is why in the near future it is hoped that girls that play box lacrosse will be scouted for field teams more often.

“They’ve got a lot of opportunities right now,” he said, and some of those opportunities wouldn’t be there without NAIG opening a team.

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