Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ILA names Muskies as hosts of the 2011 President’s Cup Championship

The Canadian Lacrosse Association announced its selection of the 2011 President’s Cup championship to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association. The President’s Cup is the Senior B Canadian National Championship and was last awarded to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association in both 1996 and 2000, then hosted by the Akwesasne Thunder and the Kahnawake Mohawks, respectively. 
During the 2010 lacrosse season, the Iroquois Lacrosse Association president, Michael K. Mitchell secured the rights to host the 2011 Canadian Lacrosse Association’s senior ‘B’ championships on behalf of the resurrected ILA. To determine the host team, the ILA formed a selection committee which consisted of former ILA lacrosse greats and respected elders such as Bobby Delormier, Billy Sunday and Brian David. Russell Roundpoint was also named to the group and served as chairperson which based its selection on preparation planning, promotion, volunteer committees, and additional events that would be required to ensure a successful tournament. 
At the submission deadline, the Iroquois Lacrosse Association received two application bids from the Snake Island Muskies and the Cornwall Island Redmen, which according to Roundpoint, were both excellent entries. After a lengthy review of the applications, the committee selected the Snake Island Muskies as the host team for the 2011 Canadian Championships. “The Muskies proposal was selected based on the attention to Akwesasne culture and history, together with their role in the re-establishment of the ILA senior lacrosse league” said Roundpoint. 
The 2011 President’s Cup Championship will be played between August 29 and September 5, at the Anowarakowa Arena which is situated on Cornwall Island, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. ILA president, Michael K. Mitchell is excited of the opportunity to host the President’s Cup tournament in Akwesasne as he has great memories of the previous tournament that was held in 1996 inside an overcrowded Anowarakowa Arena. “The last time it (President’s Cup Tournament) was here, the arena was filled to capacity…we definitely live in a lacrosse community” said Mitchell. The 1996 President’s Cup was one of the most memorable with a record of 10 teams and full capacity crowds which featured a final between the Ohsweken Wolves of the Can-Am League and the Akwesasne Thunder. The Wolves defeated the ILA hosts to capture the gold medal before 2,000 plus lacrosse fans, “the energy inside the arena was unbelievable” said Mitchell of the well attended tournament at Akwesasne. 
The national tournament will showcase multiple games each day during round robin play and will feature events and activities outside the arena grounds. The tournament will be a weeklong festival of celebrating the game of lacrosse and culture of the Mohawks of Akwesasne.  
Being named hosts of the National Tournament, the Snake Island Muskies will be given an automatic berth to the National Championships, while the defending league champions, the Cornwall Island Redmen will have to earn their spot in competing against the Akwesasne Braves and the renewed Kahnawake entry to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association. The Caughnawaga Indians departed ways from the Quebec Senior Lacrosse League after the 2010 season and have been accepted to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association. Two teams from the Iroquois lacrosse Association will be permitted as participants of the National Championships, one being the host Muskies and the other being the ILA’s highest placing 
The Iroquois Lacrosse Association is looking forward to hosting the event and shares this eagerness with both the Akwesasne community and the neighboring city of Cornwall. 

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