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HOLDERNESS STUDENT-ATHLETES COMPETE IN INDOOR JUNIOR LACROSSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Greg Kwasnik

Two Holderness student-athletes recently competed in the International Indoor Junior Lacrosse World U15 and U17 Championships, taking home silver and bronze medals for Team USA.

John Paul “J.P.” Guinee ’24 and Grady Taylor ‘25 traveled to Massena, NY for the four-day tournament, which took place from November 11 to 14. It was the first-ever indoor world championship for the U15 category, with Grady, a U15 captain, leading Team USA to a silver medal. Guinee and his U17 teammates took home the bronze.
 
“The U15s had a great tournament,” Grady says. “I was team captain as well, which was cool, really awesome. I was honored to help be that role on the team. We had a really good weekend.” In addition to winning the silver medal, the U15 team also beat Canada – the first time any American team has ever beaten Canada in indoor lacrosse in international pool play. The U17 team also played well, and ultimately won the bronze medal game. “We played really well, but in the fourth quarter kids just got tired,” J.P. says. “We were up for most of the first half and then we couldn’t hold it together in the fourth quarter and they just outworked us.”
 
A total of three nations competed in the tournament, including the United States, Canada, and Haudenosaunee (formerly known as Iroquois). The tournament typically hosts up to eight nations, but was scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Haudenosaunee, who hosted the tournament, took home gold in both the U15 and U17 categories. The Haudenosaunee are widely credited with inventing the game of lacrosse, dehontsigwaehs, which translates to “they bump hips.” It’s an appropriate name for indoor lacrosse, which is a faster, more physical game than field lacrosse. In indoor lacrosse, also known as box lacrosse, teams of five athletes play in hockey arenas with smaller nets and a fast, aggressive state of play. “It’s just a way more physical game than field,” says J.P.,, who plays transition defense. “You wear a lot more padding and you get pretty banged up in there.” Playing indoor lacrosse is also a great way to improve skills for field lacrosse. “After you go from box lacrosse to field lacrosse everything feels much more slowed down and you have a lot more space,” says Grady, who plays forward indoors. “You’re very accurate, too.”
 
Those skills will no doubt be put into practice when Grady and John Paul play for Holderness this spring. And while they’re early in their Holderness careers – Grady is a ninth grader and J.P. a tenth grader – both have an eye toward playing lacrosse in college. And maybe next year they’ll once again try out for the national team, a process that involved an initial tryout, two training camps, and lots of travel. It was a long and involved process, but to J.P.l and Grady, it was worth it.
 
“It was a really great experience,” J.P. says. “I didn’t really understand the full meaning of it until afterwards – of representing America, playing a sport. It’s pretty special.”
 

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