|Onondaga Peanuts Go Undefeated at 14-0|
|Wednesday, 20 August 2008 14:17|
In early April, Coach Marshall Abrams called the first practice for his Peanut (ages 6 and under) team. Marshall, former SU All-American defenseman, and current Rochester Knighthawk and Rattler, found himself surrounded by 23 youngsters on the floor at Tsha’HonNonyendakwha’. Marshall remembered that first practice as “wild, but a lotta fun” as 23 youngsters chased the ball around the floor as he blew his whistle.
From that first practice, Coach Abrams and his assistants, Shannon Booth and Lenny Lyons, were able to develop a group of “11 men” who traveled to their first tournament in Newtown. Marshall remembers trying to get “everyone to try to do the same thing on offense and defense.” But in the end, the boys played “big” and were able to take the tournament crown and on their way to an undefeated season and a NAMLA Championship.
Looking back over the season, there were a few memorable moments. Marshall wasn’t able to attend the tournament so his assistants Shannon and Lenny took over. The team found themselves in a battle against Newtown. Newtown held a 5-1 lead going into the third period. Coach Booth and Coach Lyons were able to get the boys hyped up to keep the streak alive. Everyone pitched in especially Emerson who was able to toss in three goals and the defense held Newtown to 5 goals as Onondaga won 6-5. And Coach Marshall Abrams stated that it wouldn’t be an “official season” without one of his players getting the ball, running down the floor, firing the ball into the net, and scoring on his own goalie!
By the end of the year, Marshall said that the team had grown so much from those early practices in April. He remembers showing them what a crease is, how to play offense and defense, learning the rules, and learning to catch. The boys did so well at learning the basics that they were also able to learn a few plays to use on their opponents by the end of the season.
To celebrate a great season, Coach Abrams took the team to his secret campground on top the top of the hill in the deep woods on the Onondaga Nation. Marshall remembers as they loaded up the gear onto the 4-wheelers, one of his players quietly confessed, “Coach, I’ve never been in the woods before.” But the players again impressed Coach Abrams. After listening to a father tell an intense ghost story about an old man in the woods, Marshall said, “I only had 4 men crying and only lost 1 man who had to go back home.”Coach Marshall Abrams would like to thank manager Patty Nolan, all of the parents, and the people of the Nation for their support to help make this a special season. He is looking forward to next year’s Peanut team and will be putting in even more “Knighthawk” plays. Congratulations to McCoy A., Devon B., Percy B., Sterling C., Nathan J., Darryl K. Eric L., King L., Gabriel M., Emerson S., and Pierce S. on a wonderful year!