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Hunters enter new partnership 

Two lacrosse players pose for a picture after a match.
Owen Rice and Kaymen Diabo playing for the Peterborough Jr. A Lakers last season. Courtesy Kirby Joe Diabo

The Kahnawake Hunters and the Peterborough Lakers entered an affiliation agreement, a decision meant to boost opportunities for players on both teams as the start of the lacrosse season draws near. 

“That gives our players the chance to go up and play at a higher calibre,” said Derek Stacey, owner of the Kahnawake Hunters Jr. B lacrosse team, noting that the Lakers are a Jr. A team – one level higher than the Hunters. 

“They get to experience what it takes to perform at a higher level and what it takes to get there. Everything’s faster, everything’s quicker, and you just have to be more aware of your game, I would say. But it’s a great opportunity.” 

Although this agreement makes it official, the connection between both teams dates to the previous season.  

In 2023, local laxer Owen Rice was drafted to the Peterborough Jr. Lakers. From there, the relationship between both teams slowly began to grow. A few more players from the Hunters, including Kaymen Diabo and Connor Gorman have played with the Lakers since. 

“Now, hopefully, we’ll be able to continue to grow that relationship and benefit one another and have opportunities for players to play, and then see where it flourishes and where it goes from there,” said Robert Hope, head coach of the Lakers. 

He mentioned that at the start of the season, it can sometimes be difficult to have a full roster in time, with some players still at prep school or in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).  

Affiliations such as this one can help alleviate some of the pressure. “It really is important for teams to work with one another with their affiliations, and to be able to use players back and forth,” said Hope.  

The goal is for both teams to be able to share players for their respective games – all while matching up their schedules. Both teams will be able to use players from the other team for games for the summer.  

Players with Hunters could also have a chance to extend their season if they play with the Lakers, whose season ends July 9, as opposed to the Hunters’, which ends June 15. 

“We’re going to learn back and forth and have a good, shared relationship in regard to what guys want to play where and put guys in some different roles that maybe they haven’t even been in before,” said Hope. 

For Stacey, the benefit of the added experience extends beyond the personal development of the athletes – it can pay to help the entire home team. 

“I think it’s good for younger kids to get a chance to play A and then bring that experience back to our game. Because our main goal is still to win the Founders Cup,” Stacey said. This year, the Junior B national championship is set to take place in Hamilton from August 18-25.  

The Hunters begin their season in just over a month on April 25 at 8 p.m. against the Nepean Knights at the Howard Darwin Centennial Area. 

nanor.fr@gmail.com 

This article was originally published in print on March 22 in issue 33.12 of The Eastern Door.

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Nanor is a reporter and copy editor with The Eastern Door. She was previously the managing editor and creative director at The Link.

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Nanor is a reporter and copy editor with The Eastern Door. She was previously the managing editor and creative director at The Link.