The Thompson brothers on abuse, glory and Native American pride in lacrosse | US sports
John Arlotta decided to move his indoor lacrosse team from an NHL arena in St Paul, Minnesota, to a minor-league hockey arena in the Atlanta suburbs four years ago because the rent was too high in Minnesota, and because he saw lots of room for growth in Georgia. So the Minnesota Swarm became the Georgia Swarm after 11 seasons, and the Swarm moved south with a critical possession: four of the first six picks in the National Lacrosse League draft, including the first overall pick.
The Swarm made a logical choice with that first selection, taking Lyle Thompson, a forward from the University at Albany. He’d broken the NCAA career records for assists and points, and he’d twice won the Tewaaraton Award, the Heisman Trophy of college lacrosse, the first time jointly with his teammate and older brother, Miles.
The Thompsons are Native Americans from the Onondaga Nation, one of six nations in the Iroquois Confederacy. Besides Lyle, three other Thompson brothers play in the NLL. Miles, 28, and Jerome, 30, are on the Swarm; Jeremy, 32, plays for the Saskatchewan Rush.
Arlotta knew he’d be getting a prolific player in Lyle Thompson, who has scored 165 goals in 75 games for the Swarm in the last four years, led the team to the 2017 NLL title and was the league’s MVP that year. But Thompson also is an ambassador for not just a sport, but for a culture. “I’ve been given a platform,” Lyle Thompson tells the Guardian. “I try to use it, but I don’t overuse it. I don’t like to over-publicize any one thing. I just want to keep my audience listening.”
Native Americans are still very much the heart of lacrosse, the game the Iroquois were said to have first played nearly 1,000 years ago, a sport that is said to have been invented by The Creator, with bear, deer and mammals on one side, and birds on the other.
Seven players on the Swarm roster are Native Americans, including the Thompson brothers and Randy Staats, the team’s second-leading goalscorer. The team regularly hosts youth clinics infused with Native American customs. “The kids love it because they’re unique,” says Arlotta.
Sadly, many people still need educating. During the Swarm’s game against the Philadelphia Wings in January, the Wings’ public-address announcer tried to fire up the crowd by yelling, “Let’s snip the ponytail.”
Lyle Thompson, who wears his hair in a long, braided ponytail, said the comments were particularly disrespectful because Native Americans in the past had their hair cut before they enrolled in Christian schools. “It was upsetting, brought tears to my eyes,” Miles Thompson says. “It was something I hadn’t heard since I was growing up, in high school.”
Lyle Thompson has scored 165 goals in 75 games for the Swarm in the last four years. Photograph: Kyle Hess
Lyle Thompson says, “I didn’t even know about it until after the game. People were looking at me, wondering if I’d heard it.” Asked how he felt after he was told about it, Thompson says, “I guess I wasn’t surprised. I was mad that it bothered me, though. I knew something had to be said. I couldn’t brush it off.” Some fans allegedly said they would “scalp” Thompson too. After the incident, Thompson tweeted, “I know Philly takes pride in their ruthless fans, but I didn’t know it was like that, lol … now I know.. just haven’t heard stuff like this since HS”.
I know Philly takes pride in their ruthless fans but I didn’t know it was like that lol…. now I know.. just haven’t heard stuff like this since HS https://t.co/efODXZScRb
— LYLE THOMPSON (@lyle4thompson) January 13, 2019
The announcer, Shawny Hill, apologized and wrote in a statement that the taunt represented “a lack of knowledge of heritage and history,” but he was fired. Lyle and Miles Thompson said they have received lots of positive support since the incident from fans.
“The Thompson brothers all have done a remarkable job as standout players in our league both on and off the floor,” Nick Sakiewicz, the NLL commissioner, told the Guardian. “They are incredible examples of what a complete professional athlete should be. The fact that they are bringing greater awareness and highlighting their platform of the rituals of Indigenous peoples is another example of the great leaders and people they are. I’ve urged them to continue to educate fans about their traditions and the importance behind them.”
The Thompsons continue to make an impact on the field too. The Swarm have clinched a playoff spot this season and average 6,029 per home game, which is 10th in the 11-team league, but up 35% from 2018. Because of a recent injection of talented young players like Lyle Thompson, the NLL is also growing. Teams in Philadelphia and San Diego were added this year, and teams will be added next year on Long Island, a long-time lacrosse hotbed, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Because indoor lacrosse, which is often called “box lacrosse,” is a played on what is essentially a hockey rink covered by artificial turf, it most resembles hockey, though there are also the punishing physical element of football and the pick-and-roll element of basketball. Atlanta has not been a hockey market, having, then losing, two NHL teams, the Flames and the Thrashers. The hockey team that shares the arena with the Swarm is called the Atlanta Gladiators, but the team is a Boston Bruins farm club and a member of the third-tier ECHL. “We still have to make people understand that they’re the third-tier of hockey and we’re the first-tier of lacrosse,” Arlotta says.
But Arlotta says Lyle, Miles and Jerome Thompson have helped the Swarm fill two buckets: one for talent, and, as he says, “the other bucket, which is equally important for me, is the character they have, which emanates through the organization and manifests itself in the clubhouse. Talent is important in an organization, but character wins championships.”
Miles Thompson says having two brothers as teammates “always had been a dream, but it was something we couldn’t control.” Teams can protect only so many players before an expansion draft, so it is possible that Miles and Jerome could play for other teams next year.
“[Having my brothers on the same team] helped me enjoy my job more,” Lyle Thompson says. Miles looks at the wider picture: “Things are changing. And anything that’s growing is something good.”
Lacrosse: A Symbol Of Family And Tradition For 4 Iroquois Brothers
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Long before lacrosse became popular at private schools and colleges across the U.S., it was played by the members of various indigenous tribes throughout much of the U.S. and Canada.
The game got the name by which people now know it from French fur trappers, who thought the sticks the Indians were using looked like the crooks carried by French bishops.
Among many members of the Iroquois Confederacy, the game is not just popular, it’s fundamental.
Born With A Stick In The Crib
“We’re given a traditional wooden stick when we’re born, to sleep with in our crib,” Jerome Thompson says. “So, that’s when I got my first stick.”
Jerome Thompson, like many kids on the Onondaga Nation Reservation in New York state, got the earliest possible start in the game around which he’s built his life.
Jerome’s younger brother, Miles, was likewise introduced to the game as an infant by their father, Jerome Sr., who played professionally. Miles remembers step two of his education in the game.
“The first memory that comes to mind with my wooden lacrosse stick, is playing catch with my father,” Miles says. “And, you know, he always tells us that he would never take it easy on us. He would give us a nice, hard pass. You know, he was my favorite player. That’s who I watched, growing up.”
Miles (left) and Lyle (right) along with their cousin Ty at the University of Albany in 2014. (Mike Groll, File/AP)
Lacrosse has a significance for the Thompson brothers — there are four of them: Jeremy, Jerome, Miles and Lyle — that goes beyond a warm and fuzzy connection to a dad, even though he’s slinging high, hard ones at them.
“There’s always a story that we were told as kids, that this game has been played since the beginning of time, that it began with the animals,” Miles says. “And those animals brought a different perspective. And we were taught that these animals played to show that every child can bring something different to the game of lacrosse. Because, you know, no matter if you’re fast, you’re strong, you got good hands, you’re gonna bring something different to this game. Every child can play this game.”
Maybe so. Maybe every child can play. But when Miles and Jerome were growing up, they didn’t have a lot of options beyond lacrosse.
“We didn’t have electricity or running water until I was probably about 8 years old,” Miles says. “You know, we didn’t have PlayStation or Xbox. We had our brothers. We had our lacrosse sticks. You would drive down the rez, and you would at least see one kid with a lacrosse stick, and some of the days that could have been us. “
College, Pros, Legacy
For the best players among those children with sticks, there could be practical, material advantages — something in addition to the satisfaction found in following in the paw prints of those variously-talented animals. There could be college scholarships. Several of the Thompson brothers got them. There could be something to hold on to while recovering from addiction. Lacrosse performed that function for one of the Thompson brothers. And there could be professional careers. All four Thompsons are currently playing pro. And, as Miles Thompson explains, there can be something more important than all that.
“My father, he taught us that the game of lacrosse, you know, we gotta respect things,” Miles says. “Respect the game. Respect others. Respect the people watching. Because that wooden stick was once a living tree. It’s a hickory tree. That tree was living. We give thanks when we take that tree. “
How many baseball players — even the best of them — feel that way about their bats? I wondered about that as I was speaking with the Thompson brothers, and a perhaps irreverent question for Miles slipped out before I could get a stick on it.
“What would have happened in your family if at some point you’d said, ‘You know, Dad, I’d really like to play baseball instead?'” I ask.
“I probably would have gotten beat up,” Miles says with a laugh.
“By your brothers, or by your father?” I ask.
“By all of them,” he says. “That’s a pretty interesting question, there.”
“Yeah, it is, actually,” Jerome agrees.
Lacrosse As ‘Medicine’ — Across Cultures And Generations
Interesting, perhaps, but beside the point. Jerome has also said of the game that “it’s medicine to cure sickness.”
“Our community uses the game of lacrosse as a healing,” he says. “Every spring we have a medicine game that pretty much our whole community attends. Whether you’re a male or a female. To me, it’s medicine in a couple ways: It’s medicine for the players, to be able to play and go out there and have fun and play with a clear mind. And it’s also medicine for the people watching.”
Medicine, and at times, a sort of magic. Or mysticism, maybe, of a cross-cultural kind. Until 1987, the Iroquois Confederacy was not recognized by the International Lacrosse Federation as deserving of inclusion in competitions with other nations. When the Iroquois did gain that status, thanks to a change in the federation leadership, they began regularly competing with the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and other nations. At the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship, the team from New Zealand honored the Iroquois as originators of the game. Jerome won’t soon forget it.
“They performed … they call it the Haka, and they did it for us,” he says.
“It was an unbelievable experience for them to do that. It sent chills pretty much down my whole back, down my whole legs. It was very heartwarming because they wanted to do that for us, to honor the game and where it comes from.
“And we also returned it and sang a greeting song for them. So, it was pretty cool.”
“We gifted them with an Alf Jacques wooden stick, and the leader of the pack, he actually broke down in tears when we gifted him with that stick,” Miles says.
The Iroquois National Team, which included all four Thompson brothers, won the bronze medal in 2014.
The game has kept the Thompson family tight. And their achievements have had an impact beyond the family and the tribe.
“You know, it was much bigger than just for Iroquois nationals,” Miles says. “All native communities were supporting us. Whether it was in Canada or the U.S. They were supporting us.”
Jerome says another generation of Thompsons is already preparing for competition.
“I have a son now who is 5 years old, and I know what he’s done with his lacrosse stick,” Jerome says.”I mean, I got an almost 1-year-old now, and he’s crawling around with his stick, too, so it’s nice to see.”
“Nice to see,” and more significant than “nice.” The success of the Iroquois team and their own achievements have inspired the Thompson brothers to spread the word. Sponsored by Nike, they run camps. Lacrosse is the draw, but the purpose is broader than teaching kids the game.
“It’s free for all native kids,” Miles says. “It’s just a lacrosse camp to go out there, have fun. We teach them the roots of the game and what it takes to get to the next level.”
“And that’s what the kids need, and that’s who we’re here for,” Jerome says. “We’re inspiring the youth to want to do what we’re doing.”
“Not every kid’s going to be an athlete,” Miles says. “Not every kid’s gonna be a lacrosse player, a basketball player. You know, some kid’s gonna be different, and he’s gonna be good in math, he’s gonna be good in school. Just find a love, and you’re gonna excel in that.”
For Miles and Jerome and their brothers, excelling in lacrosse was an imperative. There were sticks in their cradles. But in that suggestion from Miles — that exhortation to find something you can love doing and then to excel at it, whatever it may be — in that there is hope that only begins with what he and his brothers have learned and accomplished playing a game.
For more on the Thompson brothers and the Iroquois Nationals, watch the documentary “Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation.”
The First Family of Lacrosse: Lacrosse Tips From the Thompson Brothers
If you know lacrosse, you’ve heard of Jeremy, Jerome (“Hiana”), Miles and Lyle Thompson. Collectively, they’ve won the prestigious Tewaaraton Award three times, participated in the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships with the Iroquois Nationals, been named NCAA Division I All-Americans, and currently play for the Florida Launch of Major League Lacrosse and the Georgia Swarm and Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League. They also run off-season youth camps and have their own line of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse gear with Nike.
They are known for their inspiring and creative play and, as Native Americans, maintaining a close connection to the roots of the sport. For them, playing lacrosse is about honoring and carrying on ancient traditions that date back more than a thousand years.
And all they want is for you to get that same fulfillment out of the game as they do. DICK’S Pro Tips joined them so they could share some of their favorite drills and talk about how you can improve your skills on the field and your understanding of the sport.
1. HAVE FUN
“Once you start one person with this game, you know, it goes. It just keeps going. Anytime you have someone to play the game with, it makes it more fun. It helps you compete and sets you to a standard.” – Lyle Thompson
“Put your best effort out, encourage the people around you and most importantly, in the end, you want to have fun.” – Jeremy Thompson
“I grew up seeing the kids on our reservation, the older guys, they weren’t on a path that I really liked. They were doing drugs, maybe some alcohol. And the only people I looked up to were my older brothers and my father. I want to be that for the next generation. I want to show them that you can have fun with a clear mind.” – Miles Thompson
You might work a defender, work the crease, or work the ball downfield, but you play the game. And playing is fun. The Thompsons firmly believe that the game should be fun. If it’s not, why bother? Growing up, the Thompsons had little else except each other and the game. They played all the time and still do. So remember that having fun is always the first order of business.
2. PLAY IT YOUR WAY
“The animal I represent is the bear because a bear is good with his hands. He’s not the fastest animal out there and that resembles me on the field. Mine is the inside game where you need good hands to catch any pass that comes to you.” – Miles Thompson
“I represent the eagle because the eagle flies high and can see everything that’s going on. That’s perfect for the way I play the game. I think of myself as a good feeder – someone who sees the field really well, sees the play before it happens.” – Lyle Thompson
“The animal that I represent is the wolf because I’m pretty shifty and quick. I’m a pretty aggressive player and I play best with my wolf pack.” – Hiana Thompson
“The animal that best represents me is the deer. I’ve always been a runner, I’ve always been quick on my feet and running was always a fun thing for me.” – Jeremy Thompson
Every player on the team is there for a reason: to add their strengths to the team while minimizing the weaknesses of others. To honor their Native American heritage, the Thompsons each selected an animal that reflects the elements of their game. You too can choose your spirit animal or simply recognize that different players bring different things to the table. Maybe one player’s game is speed, while for another it is quickness. Or vision. Or reliability. Or guile. Or strength. Understand that as long as players are properly deployed on the field, there are any number of positive qualities that can improve a team.
3. TAKE YOUR MEDICINE
“It really goes beyond just a sport for us. Every spring [the Onondaga] have a medicine game. It’s a renewal for us every year. Plant life comes up, the trees start to bud, flowers start to come out again. Same thing as lacrosse players born into this world. You’re given that reminder of why the Creator sent this game down to the people.” – Jeremy Thompson
“The way I personally look at it is, it’s medicine in a way that it’s entertaining. It brings people together. It’s something to look forward to. It makes people happy watching it and it makes people happy playing it.” – Hiana Thompson
The Thompsons connect to lacrosse on a different level. It’s more than a game to them. As Native Americans of the Onondaga Nation, they call it a medicine game, which means they play for the benefit and entertainment of the Creator. With that comes a reverential respect for everything about the sport: the ground it’s played on, the tools they use; their opponent, spectators and community; for the elders who have passed on and the youth who will someday join them on the field. The more you dedicate yourself to the game and improving your skills, the more you will get out of the game and be able to give back to the people important to you.
4. GROW THE GAME
“It’s a small sport, [but] it’s growing fast. I think a lot of people want to see it keep growing. It’s an entertaining game to watch and an even more entertaining game to play. But for us, it carries more meaning because it’s our game. It’s part of us, it’s part of our lives and it’s part of the next generation of players. So, we want to grow the game so that everyone can see this game that is part of our culture.” – Lyle Thompson
“When this game was given to us, it brought people together, it brought nations together, communities. And [the annual spring medicine game], that’s our basic reminder that this game was sent down to have good intentions, good mind, good thoughts, good energy.” – Jeremy Thompson
“When I was a kid growing up, I wanted to be a professional player, and being a professional player, now I want to help other kids live up to their dreams, have something to look forward to. And I want to be that role model for them.” – Miles Thompson
Invite your friends and family to watch games. Invite others to join the team. Teach people how to cradle, catch and throw. In short, grow the game by introducing people to it. Compete up to your ability. And always keep in mind that the game is for your enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.
5. RESPECT THE GAME
“Almost everything that I’m involved with in my life wouldn’t be here without the game of lacrosse. Lacrosse has given me an education, helped me meet my best friends, helped me make a living. So it’s important for me to leave something for the kids coming up or for the future of lacrosse.” – Lyle Thompson
“Respect was a huge thing that we’re brought up on whether it’s in life, or the game of lacrosse. My dad brought us up playing lacrosse [a certain way]. I mean, I don’t care if someone comes up and two-hands you across the arm, you’re out there for a different purpose. You’re going to go out there and play hard still. And it’s just the way we play lacrosse. It’s the way we walk around through life.” – Hiana Thompson
Lacrosse is a microcosm of life. Playing it can help you on and off the field, but only if you let it. To do so, understand where the sport comes from and its original purpose. Know that you will face adversity, ups and downs, wins and losses. Through it all play hard and play clean. Do not seek retribution on opponents who do not play the same way. And apply that respect to your everyday life.
6. WORK HARD
“For me and Miles, we grew up playing together and he always played at a high level. It forced me to play at that same level. So I think just having that, it really helps you get better at the game.” – Lyle Thompson
“Know that you have a gift and it’s going to take you a lifetime to become the best you can be, [to] own your own craft and take yourself to the next level through hard work. There’s going to be adversity. Just [stick] with it and [stay] strong.” – Jeremy Thompson
Nothing worth having comes easy. That goes for lacrosse the same as it goes for life. But you’ll get out of lacrosse everything you put into it and more, so work at it. Remember what Lyle said: “The harder you play, the stronger the medicine.” And strong medicine means the more healing you get.
Thompson Brother’s Medicine Game Retreat
Thompson Brothers Lacrosse and 3d Lacrosse have teamed up to present the Medicine Game Retreat, an immersive and educational experience that teaches the history and heritage of the Creator’s Game in support of the Thompson’s 4TheFuture Foundation.
The Medicine Game Retreat Powered by 3d Lacrosse, which will premiere outside of Dallas on March 6, is an opportunity for the famed Thompsons, who operate Thompson Brothers Lacrosse and recently launched the 4TheFuture Foundation as a non-profit organization, to make an impactful connection with lacrosse players by teaching them about the roots and history of the game and its evolution to what we know today.
Featuring Jeremy, Jerome “Hiana”, Miles and Lyle—the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer—the Medicine Game Retreat is a chance for players from across Texas to learn from some of the most talented and influential players the sport has ever seen.
Structured to immerse attendees in the game and inspire them to view lacrosse differently, the Medicine Game Retreat will be held for the first time at Frontier Park in Prosper, with social distancing and mask protocols in place in accordance with local and state guidelines. The event is open to all boys lacrosse players from high school seniors through 1st grade.
The weekend will help support and raise awareness for the 4TheFuture Foundation, which the Thompsons founded to support Indigenous youth through lacrosse clinics, equipment grants, mentorship, education and more.
Interacting with attendees, the four Thompsons will begin the event with welcome remarks, followed by in-depth presentations on the history of the game, the story of the Medicine Stick, the Iroquois’ connection to lacrosse, and their own unique paths within the sport.
The Thompson brothers will then lead skills instruction intended to enhance lacrosse decision making and to encourage players to better understand their own skill set, strengths and weaknesses.
Next, the four star athletes will conduct a demonstration of the Medicine Game in its traditional form, including the use of hand-made wood sticks, giving attendees a glimpse of the game as it was played for centuries.
Medicine Game Retreat attendees will receive a Thompson Brothers Lacrosse shirt and will have the chance to win giveaways and prizes throughout the day. The event will close out with an autograph session.
To learn more about Thompson Brothers Lacrosse and 3d Lacrosse joining forces, read the announcement here.
• NLL Champions Cup Winner
• Iroquois Nationals
• Nike Athlete
• Tewaaraton Award Winner
• NLL Champions Cup Winner
• Premiere Lacrosse League
• 2x Tewaarton Award Winner
• MLL Offensive Player of the Year
• NCAA Division 1 Career Points Leader
• Syracuse University
• 2x NJCAA Champion
• 3x NLL Champion
• Premiere Lacrosse League
- Kindergarten – 3rd Grade (2033-2030)
- 4th Grade – 7th Grade (2029-2026)
- 8th Grade – 12th Grade (2025-2021)
Saturday, March 6th, 2021
- 2033-2030: 2-3 pm Training, 3 pm Giveaways & Autographs
- 2029-2026: 4-6 pm Training, 6 pm Giveaways & Autographs
- 2025-2021: 7-9 pm Training, 9 pm Giveaways & Autographs
1551 Frontier Pkwy
Prosper, TX 75078
- 2033-2030 $125*
- 2029-2021 $225*
*T-Shirts included for each registered player!
Credit & Refund Policy
Individual Events: Involuntary Cancellation Policy – Weather, Facility Closure, COVID-19, Injury, etc.
Deposits are non-refundable for all 3STEP Lacrosse individual events. Individuals attending a 3STEP Lacrosse individual event must pay an initial deposit with the final balance due 60 days prior to the event. If an event is involuntarily cancelled, individuals will be offered a 90% credit or a 50% refund of their paid in full balance. Individuals who have not paid in full (deposit only or partial balance) will receive a 50% credit of the balance paid. Medical documentation will be required for individuals who cannot attend due to injury or illness. Credits and refunds will be processed a minimum of 60 days after the event. 3STEP Lacrosse will not be responsible for any ancillary or related expenses incurred by any individual, family, club or organization if the event is canceled in whole or in part.
Individual Events: Voluntary Cancellation Policy – Player Chooses to Withdraw
Deposits are non-refundable for all 3STEP Lacrosse individual events. Individuals attending a 3STEP Lacrosse individual event must pay an initial deposit with the final balance due 60 days prior to the event. If an individual that has registered and paid in full wishes to withdraw and submits a request at least 60 days prior to the scheduled event date, 3STEP Lacrosse will issue a full credit less the initial deposit amount a or a full refund less the initial deposit amount. No credit or refund requests of any kind will be granted if a cancelation is made less than 60 days prior to the scheduled event date. Credits or refunds will be processed a minimum of 60 days after the date of the request to withdraw. 3STEP Lacrosse will not be responsible for any ancillary or related expenses incurred by any individual, family, club or organization if the individual wishes to withdraw.
3d Lacrosse has a strict No Refund Policy. Please review our policy at your convenience and consider purchasing the third party insurance offered by Registration Saver, an AIG product.
Click here to learn more about Registration Saver.
For questions and more information, please contact:
Thompson Brothers Set Guinness World Record
The Thompson brothers made history yet again.
In the Georgia Swarm’s home opener Saturday night, an 18-10 win over the two-time defending champion Saskatchewan Rush, the Thompsons set a Guinness World Record by all four brothers taking the floor at the same time in a professional lacrosse game.
They now officially hold the Guinness World Record title of “Most siblings to compete in same professional lacrosse game.”
“Having four incredibly talented siblings and world class lacrosse athletes play in our league is a rare feat, and a testament to their athletic skill and passion for box lacrosse,” said National Lacrosse League commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “It’s a truly a historic moment – for the sport, the league, and the Thompson brothers.”
Their father, Jerome Sr., rented a 14-passenger van so the entire Thompson family could make the trip down for the event.
“It’s pretty cool that I get the opportunity to be on the same floor as all my brothers, all people who I’ve always looked up to and who have taught me a lot,” said Lyle Thompson.
The record became more memorable as each Thompson brother recorded at least one point in the game. For the Swarm, Miles Thompson recorded five points (4G, 1A), Lyle Thompson tallied eight points (2G, 6A), and Jerome Thompson finished the night with two points (1G, 1A). Jeremy Thompson added one assist for the Rush.
“It’s always quite the accomplishment when you get to play at the highest level of lacrosse and to be playing against the brothers makes it that much more meaningful,” said Jeremy Thompson. “It’s not every sports season you get to see a group of brothers playing amongst or against each other at a high level of lacrosse. I know my brothers are playing for the same reasons as me and that makes this a very special event.”
The Swarm (1-0) flew by the Rush (0-1) thanks to a run of seven unanswered goals bridging the second and third quarters on Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena.
Georgia’s Miles Thompson scored the first goal of the match just two minutes in on a power play, while free agent signing Mike Poulin earned his first win, replacing Brodie MacDonald in the second quarter to spark the run, allowing only three goals on 24 shots in over 38 minutes.
“[Comeau] always talks about how this is a game of runs,” Lyle Thompson said, “and all he said in the locker room is don’t get too high or too low. We came off of a run going into halftime, but we were only up by one against the two-time defending champs, and that’s exactly what we did. We couldn’t be too high; we couldn’t be too low. We had to go out there and keep grinding.”
The 2016 NLL Rookie of the Year Randy Staats had the final goal in the game, netting a hat trick for the Swarm in the 18-10 victory.
“[The Rush is] a team that’s come back from lots of deficits in the past,” Comeau said. “We were pretty conscious of that, and we knew what we needed to do. Credit to our guys. We executed the right decisions at the right time.”
Thompson Brothers Lacrosse Experience at the NCAA Championships – CSE Lacrosse
Thompson Brothers Lacrosse Experience
with special guest appearance by
New England Patriot Chris Hogan
Hosted by NCAA and Corrigan Sports
Monday, May 29// 9:00 am-12 Noon
Payson Road Recreation Area (Ernie George Field)
201 Payson Road, Foxboro, MA 02035
(Less than 3 miles from Gillette Stadium)
The Thompson Brothers Lacrosse Experience is an exclusive youth lacrosse event that is part of the NCAA Championship weekend festivities. This is an instructional activity that will take place at the Payson Road Recreation Area, the same venue that hosts the NCAA Boys Future Champions Tournament, in the morning prior to the NCAA Division I Championship game. The Thompson Brothers will provide a group of youth participants with individual skills instruction and a truly memorable experience. Adding to the excitement will be an appearance by Chris Hogan, former Penn State lacrosse star and current New England Patriots’ wide receiver. Hogan will take the field with the Thompson Brothers and participate in the autograph session at the conclusion of the lacrosse skills session. Registration closes on Saturday, May 27, at Midnight EST.
The TBL Experience is open to youth lacrosse players from the ages 8-14 years old. Participants will receive a poster for autographs and NCAA Championship tickets.
Date: Monday, May 29, 2017
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (times subject to change)
Where: Payson Road Recreation Area (201 Payson Road, Foxboro, MA 02035)
About the Thompson Brothers: Native-American brothers Miles and Lyle Thompson, have captivated lacrosse fans with their skill and exciting performances. The tandem starred in college for Albany as each broke the Division I lacrosse record for most points in a season and were named co-winners of the Tewaaraton Award. Now they are standouts in professional lacrosse, along with their brothers Jeremy (former All-American at Syracuse) and Jerome. The Thompson’s bring passion and excitement to lacrosse as by honoring the Creator’s Game each time they step on the field.
About Chris Hogan: Chris Hogan is a wide receiver with the New England Patriots, the reigning Super Bowl Champions He played college football for one season at Monmouth after graduating from Penn State in 2010 on a lacrosse scholarship. Originally signed as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers, Hogan has also played for the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. Hogan gained notoriety on the 2012 season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, when he was given the nickname “7-Eleven” by former Dolphins running back Reggie Bush because he’s “always open.”
Lacrosse Star Lyle Thompson Is Ready To Resume Play, But Remains Cautious
Chesapeake Bayhawks attacker Lyle Thompson (4) will have to wait to return to the field after Major … [+] League Lacrosse postponed the start of its 2020 season. (Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Lyle Thompson had a wooden lacrosse stick put in his hands the day he was born. Growing up, he would train with it, study it and even sleep with it. His stick became his best friend.
Lacrosse is his life.
Now as a professional, Thompson, 27, plays and travels 11 months out of the year—that is, until the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“A part that’s gone unnoticed is a sense of feeling wanted and feeling needed from the lacrosse world and the people watching the game, and to have a sense of purpose,” Thompson said. “I feel like lacrosse has given me that and I’ve never realized it. Being in quarantine without lacrosse, I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything with my days. I came to realize that after a few weeks, so I started to grab my stick, get outside and train more, getting in reps with a ball and a net.
“After doing that I felt really good. We say the game’s a medicine game and not to be cliche about it, but that’s what it was for me.”
The National Lacrosse League (NLL), a winter-to-spring indoor lacrosse league, suspended play March 12 then cancelled the remainder of the season on April 8. Major League Lacrosse (MLL), a spring-through-summer outdoor league, postponed the start of its 20th season originally scheduled for May 30.
The NLL, the longest-running lacrosse league, made it through Week 15 of its 2019-20 season before halting play as a result of the pandemic. Thompson had 27 goals and 33 assists (60 points) in 12 games for the Georgia Swarm (7-5), who were second in the East Division.
With the NLL typically wrapping up its playoffs before Memorial Day Weekend, Thompson quickly transitions to the MLL, where he plays for the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The attackman tallied 73 points (46 goals, 27 assists) in 15 games to be named the 2019 MLL Most Valuable Player while guiding the Bayhawks to the 2019 MLL Championship.
Despite not being on the field currently, Thompson is trying to make the most out of this enforced break, not only by remaining physically and mentally in shape for whenever lacrosse may begin again, but also focusing on business ventures off the field.
Lyle and older brothers Jeremy, Hiana and Miles own and operate Thompson Brothers Lacrosse. Their company had to postpone its summer camps across the United States and Canada to 2021. Lyle Thompson is also working with Nike
as part of the design team on the company’s spring 2021 lacrosse cleats line; in the past five years Nike has released six limited edition Thompson Brothers Lacrosse cleats.
“Being home a lot more you think you’d have a lot more time on your hands—I know that’s how I envisioned it—but I’m staying busy,” Thompson said. “I feel like I’m busier than I’ve ever been. Between my kids, training, lacrosse, working out, TBL, Nike and all the stuff that’s in the works it’s really keeping me busy.”
While the MLL continues to search for potential opportunities to restart and play safely, other lacrosse leagues have come up with solutions to conduct live events. The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), founded in 2019, is holding a two-week quarantined fan-less tournament called the PLL Championship Series from July 25 to August 9 at a site to be announced.
Whatever the MLL—and NLL do for that matter—is still to be determined. Thompson said he will do what is best for the health and safety of himself, his wife, and his five children.
“I’m obviously ready to play—I’m keeping my body and mind ready—but then there’s that aspect of am I ready to travel through airports, and am I ready to battle against someone for 60 minutes who just did the exact same thing?” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of questions in the air that have to be answered. I’m curious to see how everything plays out, even outside of sports, when things start to open up.
“I’m staying cautious, staying safe, and I’m going to make the best choice I can make for myself and my family.”
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