Sunday Sports: Thousand Islands Spirits bring the spirit of box lacrosse to the North Country

Published: Apr. 2, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT
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TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA, New York (WWNY) - Springtime is usually reserved for high school and college lacrosse in the North Country, but a new type of lacrosse made it’s debut in the area on Sunday.

The spirit of box lacrosse was on display Sunday at the Town of Alexandria Municipal Arena as the Thousand Islands Spirits held an exhibition game showcasing some of the best talent in the upstate area.

It’s the culmination of a year long dream for Nathan Jobson, who played in the NABLL for Utica this past summer, and felt the sport would be a fit for the North Country.

”It’s pretty awesome. Pretty excited about the season. Today’s events are going pretty well. Having this many kids come out for the clinic was pretty awesome and now we’re about to show them what a game is like,” said Thousand Islands Spirits Owner and General Manager Nathan Jobson.

The Spirits will play in the North American Box Lacrosse League’s Upstate Division with Salt City, Oswego, and Utica.

The team and the league offer a unique opportunity for some former area lacrosse stars who currently play in the league and others wanting to get back in the game competitively to play at a high level right in their own backyard.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity. I’m excited that they’re bringing box to the area. I think it’s a good opportunity for young kids to get into it. I know I’ve talked to the other guys, and we wish something like this was around when we were growing up,” said former Watertown High School lacrosse player Greg Niewieroski.

”I think it’s gonna be great for the community. I never went to college, so I never really had the opportunity to play lacrosse after high school. This league now gives me the opportunity without having to travel real far,” said former General Brown lacrosse player Carter Rosbrook.

”This is a huge opportunity, I think, for the region. We have a huge turnaround for lacrosse around here, and I think it would be nice to keep the talent here instead of sending them elsewhere,” said Jacob LaFex.

”I don’t know. It’s gonna be a good opportunity. I’ve never really played box, so I’m just gonna try it out and see what happens. I’m really excited for it,” said Connor Vecchio.

Before the exhibition game, the Spirits held a youth clinic to introduce some of the younger players in the area to the game of box lacrosse, which differs in some ways from regular lacrosse.

Jobson says getting the youth involved was another driving force behind him bringing box lacrosse to the area.

”Getting these kids more touches and more active and better in tight spaces is gonna make them way better field players when they get older,” said Jobson.

Jobson, the players, and the fans in attendance hope this is the beginning of a long and successful journey for the Spirits and box lacrosse in the North Country.

In men’s college lacrosse from Canton, 9th ranked St. Lawrence hosted St. John Fisher Sunday.

It was all Saints in this one as Judge Murphy gets the scoring underway just 7 seconds into the game: 1-0 Saints.

Then it was Canton product Cody Sipher picking a corner: 2-0 St. Lawrence.

With the score 2-1, Murphy unloads a rocket that dents net: 3-1 Saints.

Chase Malatesta gets loose in front and scores, expanding the Saints lead to 4-1.

Stew Hutchinson scores his 8th goal of the year to make it a 5-1 game and the Saints go on to roll past St. John Fisher 20-11.

Earlier in the day, the SLU women hosted Trinity.

The Lady Saints grab the early lead when Liz Evans scores her 11th of the year: 1-0 St. Lawrence.

In the 2nd period, the score was 5-1 Trinity when Jacqui Cloutier scores her 11th of the season, pulling St. Lawrence within 3.

In the 3rd period, St. Lawrence was down 11-2 when Charlotte Powell dents net for her 15th of the year: 12-3 Trinity.

In the 4th, Trinity was up 14-3 when Cloutier scores her 2nd of the game.

Trinity goes on to beat St. Lawrence 14-6.