KSS interscholastic sports wasting no time in getting back at it

The first winter sports season at Kahnawake Survival School (KSS) after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports at the school for the better part of two years promises to be an exciting one as teams jumped back into competition this week, the staffer tasked with overseeing sports said.

Training for the field lacrosse and indoor track and field seasons began Monday, while the first futsal (indoor soccer) game of the season was played yesterday afternoon, said KSS student engagement and activities facilitator Cougar Kirby said.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Kirby said.

The field lacrosse and indoor track and field athletes started practices Monday at the Chateauguay Sportsplex. KSS athletes will be bussed every Monday for practices at 3 p.m. The school also kicked off its futsal season yesterday afternoon at KSS, Kirby said.

“We’re hoping to get a roster of 20 lacrosse players and another 10 indoor track athletes for the 2023 season,” he said, adding the importance of getting as many kids playing and moving in the winter months cannot be understated.

“It’s all about participation. We want as many kids as possible playing sports and feeling good about themselves, making new friends and building the bonds that come with being a part of a team,” especially those who may not play other sports in the winter, Kirby said.

“It’s what we want as a school and what we want as a community,” he continued. “We want kids to try something new, maybe they’ve been interested in it before but not tried it. We want as many kids coming out as we can get.”

KSS will also field four basketball teams this winter – bantam girls, midget boys and juvenile boys and girls – and GMAA participation rules dictate that every player on a team’s roster must play at least 8 minutes per game – which also jibes with KSS’ philosophy on participation, Kirby added.

In addition, the school’s storied wrestling program will attempt to claw its way back to prominence under new head coach Brandon Stalk when it begins its winter schedule at the end of the month.

Kirby said despite the field lacrosse season being months away at best, he has big plans for the school’s team as a conduit to higher education for Kahnawake kids.

“We have a cultural connection to lacrosse, obviously, but we want to create an atmosphere where players can play here and get scouted and move up to play at higher levels. We don’t want them to have to go to a prep school or an outside school to get that. We have a high number of good players and we think there’s an opportunity there for the school.”

Thus, the weekly trips to the Chateauguay Sportsplex in the first weeks of January.

Kirby also hopes to set up exhibition games for the field lacrosse team outside of the GMAA schedule , which will only begin in March.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase