Out of Many, One People
Jamaica is home to the fastest people on earth.
This country, a one hundred and forty six mile long island, stands proudly above the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Jamaica is special - a small island with a gigantic heart. Featuring one of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems and radiating with a powerful and palpable positive energy. Lacrosse is alive and well on the island - the future is beautiful, bright and faster than ever.
The tropical climate is driven by the surrounding sea and the powerful winds that blow. Each year, during the winter months, the people of Jamaica experience the arrival of a colder group of winds that move in from the north. These winds, known by the locals as the “northers," make their way to the island all the way from the North American mainland. In recent years those winds have carried with them the culture, the history and the fun of North America’s first game.
Our lead field explorer, Casey, has been flying to the island quite a bit this year on numerous trips to check in on the progress of Jamaican lacrosse and provide his support of their mission. “There’s something really magical happening in Jamaica. Their passion for the game is deep and their excitement for playing it reminds me of what it felt like for us when we first discovered the game in our backyard in northern New York back in the 80’s.”
As the power of this game continues to spread across the planet and become a true global game, we plan to be there for it. “Explore The Field” is our tagline because it really embodies our mission as a brand. There’s absolutely nothing quite like the game of lacrosse, from its historic backbone to the pace of the modern game, it’s larger than sport.
We feel like much can be learned about life through this special game and we take great responsibility as a lacrosse brand to not just encourage the growth, but to ensure that it’s presented properly and treated respectfully. What makes this game special is exactly what we aim to protect and project.
This 25 second clip captures a bit of the magic that we're talking about and why we are dedicated to preserving it. Lacrosse has the ability to go beyond the surface and reach deeper into the soul of a community.
There’s a certain purity found within those first few years of lacrosse that feels so good to tap into. When the game is just being discovered by young athletes and an entire community is experiencing the fresh gravity of the game for the very first time. In traditional hot beds, the game is highly competitive with thousands of expensive travel team models and some players burning out as they fight for college scholarships. We find great joy in visiting those areas where they are simply playing to play. That is true right now in Jamaica and we are all in.
We are thrilled and honored to be the official uniform and apparel sponsor for the Jamaican National team as they prepare to fly into San Diego this summer for the 2023 World Games. We’ve been working closely with the president of the Jamaican Lacrosse Association, Calbert Hutchinson, who is doing great things for lacrosse at the grassroots level. He has a great understanding of what makes lacrosse different and special. He also knows the challenges they face and what they need to grow. He has brought in some powerful figures to help foster the growth as coaches and administrators.
Casey has big love for visiting emerging lacrosse locations and it’s always fun to hear his recount. He's followed his passion for travel and adventure all over the world, always carrying a lacrosse stick in his hands and a smile on his face.
After returning from his most recent trip he shared this excerpt from his journal along with all of the photos and videos that you see here. This is just a snippet.
To hear his full take on the trip click here.
Mr. Everything, Dwight Clarke picked us up at the airport and we went directly to the semis at St. McHugh for a full day of mens and womens lacrosse high school action. Big games and historic rivalries. They alternated play between girls, boys, girls, boys, and so on. The games got more exciting as the day went on and we witnessed some amazing athletes, intense effort, and tremendous passion.
The fans consisted of Moms, Dads, Grandmas, kids and school mates in their school uniforms. They were all blowing horns, waving flags, and dancing after big goals. Everyone was in the moment, and we even got a visit from a beautiful rainbow to truly show how lucky we all were to be here together.
The final game of the day was the most intense Calabar vs. Kingston College. The last time they played Kingston College demolished Calabar 17-0. But we watched a focused Calabar team step off the bus and walk by us. It reminded me of the West Genny teams of the 90’s. They were focused, dialed and had only one thing on their minds. Winning. It was an incredible game. Back and forth, crowd going crazy, heavyweight fight and Calabar took down Kingston College with 9-7 upset win.
The most impressive player of the day was #22 DeAndre McKenzie of St. George’s. He was the leading scorer and I awarded him the Powell Player of the Game with a Powell Switchback Complete Stick. He was outstanding and no doubt will have a bright career as a member of JLA.
After the long day of travel and 5 hours of lacrosse games we checked into the St. Theresa school dormitory where we would reside over our stay.
We quickly showered and headed out to dinner with Dwight, Shakira, and Elvis to a restaurant called Peppa Thyme.
Best Jerk Chicken I ever had. We had a great convo about Jamaica lacrosse and reflected on the games we just watched. We all fell asleep when our head hit the pillow.
We will be heading back to Jamaica in a couple weeks to continue building rapport and finding new ways to support this exciting development. There’s no question that Jamaica is home to some of the best athletes on planet earth so once they get comfortable with the game and used to having lacrosse sticks in their hands we believe there will be a new powerhouse on the global scene.