Courtesy Sue Ann Morris Horne
After overcoming delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Kahnawake Honeybees are back in action and have just completed their first tournament of the season at the Goblin Games in Ithaca, New York.
Despite their lack of experience and beginner status as lacrosse players, the girls pulled through, winning their third game 11-6 last Saturday after losing 5-4 in their first game and 11-3 in their second.
“I think we did really well. With that win – that was a big plus,” said Kanerahtontie McComber, the Honeybees’ coach.
The girls began playing together three years ago in 2019, when they were much younger, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, operations came to a halt, practices ceased, and the team fell out of practice over the years.
“The girls came a long way because in September, once we started practicing, they had to re-learn how to catch and pass and how to scoop up the ball and learn all the basics all over again in that short (amount) of time,” said McComber.
Now, the 15-player roster is back and slowly falling into the rhythm of weekly training to keep up with the 2022-2023 season.
Among the 15 are players of various ages, ranging from grade 5 to grade 8, around ages 10-14.
The last Goblin Games took place in fall 2019, right before everything shut down. So between those games and the tournament this October, the girls are complete beginners at the sport.
“We’re going to another tournament in February. It’s not a league that we’re in, we’re on our own, so it depends on if parents wanna come,” McComber added, referring to how long tournament season may last.
Tessa Regis, a mother of three Honeybee players, is a proud parent of athletes. Her daughter, Teiakotenharo:se, was not only the team’s goalie during the games – she was accredited MVP status.
“It was fun and exciting to be back and playing with my team and Tontie (the coach),” Teiakotenharo:se said. “I’m just really happy to be playing with everyone again.”
Regis felt that the starting point of the season was a bit rusty, but she has witnessed the girls’ progress over the past few weeks firsthand.
“It was like they were starting from step one again. But they’ve been working hard and practicing twice a week,” she said.
“Tontie has lots of experience with lacrosse, as a player and as a coach for boys, so I think this is a little bit different for him coaching girls.”
Coach McComber is eager to continue guiding the girls this season and has high hopes for them to continue on their seemingly positive trajectory. Most of all, he wants the girls to keep up their active lifestyles.
“They have a lot of fun playing,” he said. “It’s a new sport for them and all of the girls play other sports, so they’re all athletic girls.”
The Honeybees will be playing and training at the Chateauguay Sportplex on Monday nights.