Making lacrosse history

Team Saskatchewan manager Darcy Ratt, players Annakah Ratt, Olivia Fetch, Haley Bear and Keshay Gerard and coach Tyson Fetch (from left) are in Toronto this week for the North American Indigenous Games. (Photo courtesy Tyson Fetch)

P.A. players suit up as women’s lacrosse debuts at North American Indigenous Games

Women’s lacrosse is making its first appearance at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) this week in Toronto and Prince Albert’s Tyson Fetch was responsible for putting together a team to represent Saskatchewan.

Fetch, who coaches the P.A. junior ‘B’ Predators, said lacrosse has traditionally been considered to be “a medicine game for the men” and some nations are only able to compete this year with the permission of their matriarchs.

The selection process for Saskatchewan’s U19 women’s box lacrosse team began in October, when Fetch held a two-day identification camp in Saskatoon, which attracted 30 participants.

“We had a look at all the girls, saw some of them had some skills. I had a lot of girls that had never played the sport before so I knew it was going to be a challenge right off the bat,” he said.

“We ended up picking our roster in January and we had a couple of practices before the lacrosse regular season started and then we had a practice every three or four weeks.”

Team Saskatchewan will be competing against teams from Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and the Eastern Door and the North Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. Fetch said he expects Ontario and B.C. to do well because they have girls’ lacrosse programs to develop their players, but added that anything can happen when these teams face off for the first time.

“It’ll be just a trial and error process. We’re going to learn as we go,” he said.

“We had a lot of girls that had never played the game before and so it’s going to be interesting. I don’t know how the other teams will be as lacrosse is not traditionally a female sport.”

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