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Survival takes two losses, looks for bounce back

Kahnawake Survival School’s young team looks to bounce back to winning ways this week after tough losses to Billings and Kuper last week. (Tehosterihens Deer, The Eastern Door)

Greater Montreal Athletic Association (GMAA) field lacrosse is finally here with Kahnawake Survival School (KSS) taking a hard left turn after their smashing two-game winning streak last week. 

The boys played seven-time champions Howard S. Billings Monday, and Kuper Academy  Tuesday losing both contests. 

“Not all the schools have experienced players, so it’s a lot different from playing with experienced players but it could’ve been a lot better, we had tons guys out due to injuries or suspensions,” said Survival long pole Tehonatake Nicholas. 

Nicholas plays goalie for the Jr. B Hunters, but with KSS is working on his defensive skills. 

“I’ve been playing pole for a year now. The school needed a player, so I helped out,” he said. “A big difference from box and field is there’s a lot less action, it’s a bigger field, so it’s nice to adjust to both ways of the game.” 

Last Monday, Billings beat KSS 16-4.

KSS goalie Tehorahkwaneke Albany said he tried to learn a thing or two from Grade 11 star Nicholas during the lopsided loss. 

“We can play our worst game, but learn from our mistakes,” said Albany. “He (Nicholas) is kind of like a role model to me, I follow and learn from him.” 

Survival coach Kirby Joe Diabo said his team lacked a bit of fundamentals early against Billings.

“It took a while to find a rhythm with ground balls and face-offs, those weren’t going our way,” said Diabo. “In the second half, we made adjustments, and the game started to go how we planned.”

Billings beat Kuper 13-7 last week, and is on a hot streak as the Blazers look for top spot in the standings. 

The Kuper Kodiaks (3-1) are hot on Billings’ tails and looking to finally take down the Chateauguay juggernaut. 

Kahnawa’kehró:non Trey Deere is playing at Kuper for the second year. 

Coming hot off the ice in Yukon, Deere recently returned from the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, placing fifth with Team Eastern Door and the North.

He was happy with the Kodiaks’ 11-4 win over Survival Tuesday.

“Our game went well, we lost both times last year, so we’re hoping for a good season. We have to show some of these guys how to play and lead by example,” said Deere. 

Deere explained that some players on the team have never touched a lacrosse stick before this year. 

Kuper head coach George Martin has high hopes for his team and is always confident regardless of the outcome, and values the Kahnawake connection at Kuper.

“It’s a short season considering it’s the end of the year and I always have people from Kahnawake playing,” he said. “I taught in Kahnawake for 10 years, five at Kateri, five at KSS, that’s why we have a lot of athletic players from here.” 

Up next, Kuper plays Westwood High School tonight, while Billings plays Beaconsfield in Chateauguay. KSS continues their season as they face Pierrefonds away on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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