As a fanatic of indoor box lacrosse, it was a bit disheartening to see about 500 people sitting in the stands when Panther City Lacrosse Club based out of Ft Worth TX took to the turf to challenge the NY Riptide on Long Island. Known as “The Barn”, former home of The New York Islanders, the Nassau Coliseum holds 14,500, clearly 14,000 shy of full capacity.
I first started following indoor box lacrosse back in Buffalo, NY when The Buffalo Bandits joined the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, now known as the National Indoor Lacrosse League. Long are the days when the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium held standing room only crowds as the Bandits took the league by storm! The place was electric and it didnt take long before The Bandits paraded their first of 4 major league title trophies! Growing up on the Cattaraugus Territory, local lacrosse player, Glen Lay, was an obvious favorite, so much so he had his own section of fans in the arena!
If you followed the MILL/NILL you may remember such great players as The Gait Brothers from Philly or Pat McCready of The Knighthawks. But Buffalo also had its greats including goalie Ross Cowie, Pat “Tool-Time” O’Toole, John Tavares and Jim Veltman who is now the General Manager of The New York Riptide. Considered one of the best defensemen in league history, and a player that was fun to watch, you could say Veltman knows talent when he sees it!
And lucky enough for the New York Riptide, their roster is peppered with great talent. Cpt Dan McCrae, Long Island Native Keiran McArdle, Basom, NY Native Larson Sundown and Cattaraugus Territory Native LeRoy Halftown. Selected in the Second Round (20th Overall) in the 2018 Entry Draft by the Georgia Swarm, LeRoy made his professional debut.
When asked about how he got started with Lacrosse and what the fascination was, LeRoy simply stated: “I’ve been playing lacrosse since I was 3 years old. Ive always loved the game and had goals to play at the highest level I could. When I was in high school, I was making choices that I really am not proud of. I made the decision to move in with my dad where he laid down structure and routine for me to keep focused on school and lacrosse. I know on the Cattaraugus Territory there were/are a lot of distractions that could have led me in a different direction but I am glad that I made the move when I was younger.”
LeRoy further stated: “I had childhood friends and teammates who were making an impact on the lacrosse world already at a young age and that drove me to be the best I could be. On the reservation, role models are needed for our youth and thats what I plan to be. I’d like for all the younger kids to know it doesn’t matter where you play or where you come from, lacrosse is for everyone and if you work hard, the game will reward you. I am thankful and grateful for my opportunities and I will continue to work hard for my family and community. My dad was an aspect in my development” he laughs “he made us play a certain way every time and it is embedded in my style all the way to today. The mindset and pregame thoughts are always about my dad. I always think to myself ‘what would my dad say to me right now?’ that gets me in my zone because he paved the way for me and my brother. He’s a huge inspiration to me about my lacrosse”.
As a proud father and husband, LeRoy is also a community leader, helping develop young minds interested in our “native sport” and serving as a coach for All Purpose Lacrosse. You are truly an inspiration in your own rite, LeRoy, keep up the good work, youre doing yourself and the rest of us proud!