Lacrosse Clinic to Feature Nationally-Recognized Athletes
By SHAUN FRIEDRICHSEN
Edison Red Nest III is on a mission to get young people more involved through the sport of lacrosse. To help with that, he has organized a free lacrosse clinic in Alliance featuring nationally-recognized athletes: the Thompson brothers.
“We have the Thompson brothers coming in,” said Red Nest. “They are four brothers who are the superstars of lacrosse right now. Everybody knows them. They are a real beacon of positive change for Natives and Native youth; even going farther than that, especially for young Native men.
“Often what happens with our lifestyle and choices that our families make, the men end up falling by the wayside and the women are the ones picking up the responsibilities. The Thompson brothers are a positive influence that show our young boys, ‘Hey, if you work hard enough, if you go to school, if you stay drug and alcohol free, then you will set yourself up for success.’”
On Tuesday, July 2, the Thompson brothers will teach a two-part clinic, which people are welcome to attend. It will take place at Bulldog Stadium. After the morning session wraps up, lunch will be served at the City Park.
The second part of the clinic will take place in the afternoon, and will feature presentations from Travis Brave Heart, a first-generation college lacrosse player, and Ben Wiegel, who founded Koby’s Cause, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent suicide.
“He spreads awareness about suicide through the game of lacrosse,” Red Nest said. “He gathered up sticks and he petitioned different companies, and he started different teams. He’s a Florida State Seminole lacrosse player.”
Lacrosse, Red Nest explained, has been around for centuries, and was originally used as a way to settle conflicts.
“A lot of times it was used to resolve disputes between tribes,” said Red Nest. “Our tribes in this area, when we went out for tribal warfare, we went out for blood, we went out to kill the enemy to make them surrender, essentially. Tribes on the eastern side would get their warriors. The definition of a warrior was they’re brave, they’re strong, they’re courageous, they’re generous, they’re wise. You put the people before yourself.
“So, only the strongest played,” Red Nest said. “If you lost, your tribe would go without. We carry that same concept when we play here. We teach our kids that bit of history to show them that the things we’re doing, we play the game just like they played it over 1,000 years ago.”
Red Nest hopes that the Nebraska Panhandle well serve as a place where lacrosse thrives. He noted interest in lacrosse is already spreading to other communities.
“There’s the thing that they call the schools to prison pipeline,” said Red Nest. “Well, we want to have a lacrosse to college pipeline where you see all these kids out here, when they grow up, they’ll continue this game so that by the time they’re juniors and seniors, they’ll get more exposure. We want western Nebraska to be a big, dominate force when people start talking about Nebraska lacrosse. That’s the dream: to have these kids go to college for lacrosse.”
Red Nest encourages people to attend the free clinic and to show support for the community’s children. People interested in registering for the clinic can find more information on the Alliance Lacrosse Facebook page.
“Come out to support the kids,” Red Nest said. “They would really, really love it to see the stands filled and people out there cheering for them and watching them.”