Grand River Ironmen Take Turkeyshoot Title; Standouts, More
I traveled down to Ithaca, N.Y. this past Saturday to take in the 23rd annual Turkeyshoot, which took place at Ithaca High School. Saturday was the ìDivision Iî varsity tournament and was filled with a number of club teams from all over the Northeast and Midwest along with a few more local varsity squads. Teams came in from Ohio, Illinois, Vermont, Ontario and all over upstate NY to play in one of the longest running fall tournaments. Overall, 12 teams competed for the Turkeyshoot championship.
A team made up mostly of players from the Six Nations Reserve, the Grand River Ironmen defeated the Ontario-based Northern Lacrosse 12-5 for the championship in a game that wrapped up under the lights Saturday. Teddy Mazaheri, a midfielder from Pennsylvania who played for the Ironmen, was named the tournament MVP after a dominating run at the face-off X and contributions on both sides of the field.
There were many talented players on hand Saturday, including plenty up-and-coming prospects from the Iroquois community, and I was able to see most of them play in one or more games. Iíve highlighted a few of the standouts below.
Players that stood out:
Alex Henry, Defense, Six Nations Royal Reds (Ont.), 2015
Listed as a defenseman on the roster, Henry played a little bit of everything for the Royal Reds on the day. Henry was an absolute monster on defense in every game. He scooped up a bunch of groundballs and when he didnít get them he made his opponent pay the price for picking it up. As a midfielder, he was very solid and a tough matchup for anyone trying to guard him.
Riley LaForme, M, Six Nations Royal Reds (Ont.), 2018
LaForme was one of the fastest players on the field in every game. He played tough defense when he had to and Iím not sure he was beaten 1-on-1 all day. He cleared the ball the entire length of the field a few times and was able to make quick passes to teammates and put it right on their sticks. You could definitely see the box background in his game but as a young player he has a lot of upside and should be someone to keep an eye on.
Drey Martin, Midfield, Six Nations Royal Reds (Ont.), 2015
Martin is a big player at what looked like around 6-1. He handled the majority of the face-offs and finished around 60 percent in the games I had the chance to see him play. He had two assists in the first half in the game against the Green Mountain Boys and had created a few nice opportunities for himself on some north-south dodges that he just narrowly missed converting on.
Layne Smith, Attack, Six Nations Royal Reds (Ont.), 2015
Smith is a big lefty attackman that looked around 5-10, 200 lbs. Smith was able to get his hard shot off from the left-handed side and scored a few times throughout the day including three in the first half of his teamís first game. He showed a bunch of nice fakes when handling the ball and showed the ability to draw a slide and find his open teammates.
Gates Abrams, Attack, Akron (N.Y.)/Six Nations Royal Reds, 2016
Abrams was another big attackman for the Royal Reds who looked every bit of 190 lbs. Without an official scorebook kept for each game, I canít say for certain but would guess he led the entire tournament in goals. In the first half of the game I watched against the Green Mountain Boys he had five goals. In his teamís semifinal game he had three goals and one assist in a hard fought 9-8 overtime loss. In the two and a half games I watched the Royal Reds play he had 12 goals unofficially. His ability to find the seam on the backside of an offense is what created all of his scoring chances. He had a handful of groundballs and showed great stick protection when carrying. The best highlight goal of the day I saw, he scored a one-handed, no-look-goal where he threw it over his shoulder with the back to the goal.
Grant Howard, Midfield, Newark (N.Y.), 2015
Howard is a tough do it all midfielder for the Newark Reds. He was all over the field for his team playing good defense, getting groundballs on the wing, clearing the ball, and running the point on the EMO. He is a true throwback type midfielder. He has nice speed and looked comfortable playing with both hands. In Newarkís last game he assisted on the overtime game winner with a drive down the right-handed alley and throwing it back to the crease.
Jake Dowdy, Defense, Salamanca (N.Y.)/Grand River Ironmen, 2015
Dowdy is a big defenseman with nice feet. He played good position D and stayed on the attackmanís hands with pokes and slaps. He also wasnít shy about running through a shooter and putting a few guys down after getting their shot off.
Madison General, Attack/Midfield/LSM, Grand River Ironmen (Six Nations, Ont.), 2015
One of the more intriguing players I saw on the day, General is a small player but has the ability to do a lot of different things. In the first game I watched he was playing LSM and had a great stick and scooped a few groundballs on the wing of face-offs. He stayed on and played offense with the pole and even played on the EMO with it. He scored an EMO goal with the longstick by cutting to the cage through traffic and receiving the pass and burying it. In the other games I saw of his, he played his natural position of attack with a few runs at midfield thrown in due to his teamís short bench. He scored three goals in the championship game all in different ways, a low-to-high shot from the wing, a one-on-one finish in front and an overhand shot from up top.
Danton Miller, Attack, Grand River Ironmen (Six Nations, Ont.), 2015
Miller is a tall lefty who has great stick skills. He had three goals in the second half of the Ironmenís game against Newark showing he can score. He really stood out as a feeder though with two nice assists in the championship game, one from X and another on a cross-crease feed. Like the rest of his team he took some runs at the midfield and did a nice job there being very aggressive on defense and being able to create offense from up top too.
Teddy Mazaheri, M/FO, Lampeter-Strasburg (Pa.)/Grand River Ironmen, , 2016
As the tournamentís MVP Mazaheri was absolutely dominating at the face-off X all day. He was 12 of 18 in the championship game and controlled the X in all of his teamís other games as well. He scored four goals in the final game including his teamís first three tallies. Mazaheri was able to beat his man in a number of ways, including with hard a north-south dodge and he had a great rocker dodge that he used all over the field that allowed him to get a shot off or to move the ball to an open man. He looked comfortable anywhere on the field with the ball in his stick and even assisted on a goal with a feed from behind the goal in the championship game.
Hoyaídaiwat John, Defense, Grand River Ironmen (Six Nations, Ont.), 2016
John was one of the better defenseman at the tournament. His size combined with his good position defense allowed him to take his man out of games. Not a flashy type of player, he threw poke checks and created a few turnovers. When he got the ball off of the ground he had a nice stick and was able to find the open midfielders up field.
Jake DeMare, Attack, Naperville Central (Ill.)/Deep Dish, 2018
DeMare is a small attackman but made up for his lack of size with speed, hustle and stick skills. He was the quarterback of his teamís offense and looked real comfortable at X driving with either hand. He rode the defense all the way to the midfield and on occasion went over with his man to try and get his team the ball back. DeMare also showed signs of a nice lacrosse IQ seeing where the slides were coming from and moving the ball to the open man.
Zach Kinnas, M, Deep Dish, 2018
Kinnas is a strong midfielder that got up and down the field with ease. He scored a number of goals on the day including a nice overhand shot from up top when his team was on EMO against the Cash Cows Premier.
Chase Showalter, Midfield, Neuqua Valley (Ill.)/ Deep Dish, 2018
Showalter is a smaller defenseman that also played some LSM. He always seemed to have the ball in his stick. He knocked a number of passes down by being in the right position. When he did have the ball he made nice passes to the midfielders and was starting transition for his team in every game I watched.
Tyrus Rehanek, Attack/Midfield, Notre Dame, (Ont.) Northern Lacrosse, 2016
Rehanek was a tough attackman that did a little bit of everything for his team including taking face-offs on occasion and then sliding down to attack when he won it. He was the main ball carrier for his team on offense and created goals in a number of ways. In the championship game, he was given a little bit of room and was able to step in a get off his hard shot for a goal. He has a great shot and scored two goals in the semifinal game that were both high-to-high overhand blasts. What may have been the most impressive part of his game was watching him take a beating from some of the bigger defensemen and never backing down.
Steven Lee, Defense, Hamilton Secondary (Ont.)/Northern Lacrosse, 2015
Lee was creating turnovers in each game I saw him. In Northernís first game, he had five caused turnovers, unofficially. He was able to put the ball on the ground with some nicely timed back checks that he threw very hard. One play that stood out was when he threw a back check behind the goal and put the ball on the ground, he picked up the groundball and ran it up the field a few yards and then made a behind-the-back pass to a breaking midfielder.
Cody Menzies, Midfield, Georgetown Secondary (Ont.)/Northern Lacrosse, 2015
Andrew DeRyck, Midfield, Oakville HS (Ont.)/Northern Lacrosse, 2016
Lantz Kilburn, Defense, Michael Powers HS (Ont.)/Northern Lacrosse, 2015
Tommy Coyne, Attack, Naperville (Ill.)/Deep Dish, 2018
Jarrett Gerstrung, Goalie, Oswego (N.Y.)/Deep Dish, 2018
Matty Hodgkins, Midfield, Hardcor (Ont.), 2015
Coleman Bannerman, Defense, Hardcor (Ont.), 2016
Cole Phillips, Attack, Clarkston (Mich.)/Cash Cows Elite, 2015
Robbie Moore, Defense/LSM, Hardcor (Ont.), 2015