The fourth annual Bowhunter Cup between the Iroquois and U.S. is set for Oct. 12 at Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations.
For the first time in the history of the Bowhunter Cup, the exhibition game will be played at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations, as the Iroquois Nationals host USIL's Developmental Team. The game, which is being presented by Arrow Express Sports, is set for Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. General admission tickets are $10 at the door.
“Playing the Bowhunter on Native soil is something that is very special,” said Iroquois Nationals General Manager Gewas Schindler. “It doesn’t happen all the time and is something I want to see more often. It’s just like us hosting the first international event on our land in 2015. It’s starting to become a little trendy so I’d like to keep it that way.”
The game at the ILA will serve as a primer for the Iroquois team for the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, which will be the first ever international sporting event to be held on indigenous lands.
“It’s going to be great for the Iroquois Nationals men’s box team to get together. 2015 is creeping up on us and days are going by. It is less than two years away,” said Schindler. “As much as I can get these guys together, the better it will be for us. We have a tight group that’s a family. To get them together is the main purpose of this event.”
The fourth installment of the Bowhunter Cup will take place at the ILA, which was built by Rochester Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres in 2004. The Iroquois Lacrosse Arena serves as the training facility for the back-to-back National Lacrosse League Champion Rochester Knighthawks, and is the home floor of the Junior “A” Six Nations Arrows. The Knighthawks have several Iroquois players on their roster including back-to-back NLL Championship Game MVP Cody Jamieson, Craig Point, Sid Smith, Johnny Powless and Angus Goodleaf.
The Bowhunter Cup, which is awarded to the winner of the game between the Iroquois Nationals and an American squad, is named for Styres’ sons, Wake:Riat “Bow” Bowhunter and Rato:Rats “Hunter” Bowhunter. The Iroquois are 3-0 all-time against the U.S. in World Indoor Championship competition, and have won two of the three Bowhunter Cup exhibitions. In last year’s game, the Iroquois edged the USA all-stars, 12-10 at The Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
In 2013, US Indoor Lacrosse will feature its U.S. Developmental Team, which will be coached by former Team USA member Randy Fraser. A veteran of the National Lacrosse League, Fraser played 13 seasons professionally, while also serving as the team captain of the U.S. Team in 2003. His coaching resume also includes stints with the U.S. Men's National Indoor Team, having served as an assistant coach in 2007 and 2011. In the last World Championship, Fraser helped the U.S. win bronze in Prague.
“I will be leading the guys and giving them the tools to be successful,” said Fraser. “I won’t need to do a lot to get the guys motivated. Wearing the USA jersey is huge and playing box lacrosse for most guys is enough to get them fired up. Playing the Iroquois you are up for a big challenge physically and mentally lacrosse-wise for sure. The trick is keeping everyone calm and not rushing the ball.”
The Iroquois team has named highly regarded coach Jason Johnson to the Iroquois’ bench for the Bowhunter Cup. Johnson serves as an assistant coach with the Rochester Knighthawks and has won back-to-back NLL titles. Besides working with the Knighthawks, he has served as an assistant coach for the Hamilton Nationals. In five seasons, he has been to three Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekends and won the 2009 Steinfeld Cup. Johnson also served as an assistant coach for the Iroquois Nationals at the 2012 Bowhunter Cup. This year’s game has special meaning and a much easier commute for Johnson.
“Personally, it is very convenient. I am right here and it is a lot less travel,” said Johnson. “To have an event like that down here is pretty cool, as opposed to be people having to travel to see the game. For a lot of them, it’s in their backyards. Hopefully, we get more people out to see the game and have a good game in front of them.”