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Manahoacs History

Stafford County is one of America's oldest and most historical counties. Many have called Stafford home throughout its long history. Our most famous resident was of course the father of our country President George Washington. Aquia sandstone was selected by President Washington when building our nation's two most important historical structures, the U.S. Capitol and the White House. The Manahoacs were Indians that also called Stafford home.

It is because we have such a rich history that the Stafford Lacrosse Association chose the name "Manahoacs" for its team name. The Manahoacs were part of a tribal group that originated in the Ohio Valley and were of the Siouan linguistic family. It is thought that they were probably related to the Monacan, Moneton, and Tutelo tribes. The Virginia Manahoacs occupied the territory from the Potomac River in the north to the North Anna River in the south and from the falls of the rivers to the mountains. The only Manahoac village known by name was Mahaskohod, located along the Rappahannock River. When Capt. John Smith "discovered" them in 1608, they were at war with the Powhatan Empire. According to President Thomas Jefferson the Manahoacs lived on the Rappahannock River in Stafford County.

The History of Lacrosse

Lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America, with its origin dating back to the 1400's. It did not become generally known and talked about until the 1600's when a Jesuit missionary named Jean de Brebeuf saw the Hyron Indians play it. In a report to his superiors he stated little about the actual play of the game but seemed to be intriqued by the stick the indians used while playing. He likened the stick the indians competed with to the "crosier" carried at religious ceremonies by a bishop. Thus, the name la crosse evolved, and this later became simply "lacrosse".

Indian lacrosse was a mass game. Teams were often made up of one hundred to one thousand braves on each side. Games lasted from sunup to sundown and stretched over the course of two or three days. Lacrosse games were originally used to toughen braves for actual combat. There were times when games were played between two tribes to settle their differences or disputes.

In the early 1800's the French pioneers started playing lacrosse seriously. It was with their participation in the sport that came the first signs of turning lacrosse into a civilized game. In the early 1900's lacrosse became recognized as a "force to be reckoned with". It was during this time that the game ws first played in Olympic competition, and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse League (USILL) was formed. In 1926, the USILL was replaced by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, which is still the governing body of lacrosse today.

Lacrosse is a combination of football, hockey and basketball. It has been called the fastest game on two feet and is a grueling test of stamina.

There are 10 positions on a team (one goalie, three attackmen, three midfielders, and three defensemen). The object of the game is to put a 5 oz. hard-rubber ball into your opponent's net with a long-handled stick with a triangular pocket at the end, while keeping your opponent from doing the same to you.

Like soccer, lacrosse is played on an open field with goals at both ends; like hockey, the players carry sticks and can roam behind the net; like basketball, the offensive players set picks and run patterned offenses and fast breaks, while the defenses are man-to-man or zone. Basketball inventor James Naismith was a lacrosse player in the laste 1800's.

Glen (Pop) Warner, famed football coach, substituted lacrosse at a Carlisle, PA, Indian School for baseball because, "Lacrosse is a developer of health and strength. It is a game that spectators rave over once they understand it," he said. He undoubtedly had an ulterior motive. Lacrosse, a contact sport, helped prepare his grid warriors for the fall season.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association eventually took over the directing of intercollegiate lacrosse. The first NCAA Lacrosse Championship was held in 1971. With the support of the NCAA, the sport has continued to grow as more and more youngsters reenact this modern version of the Indian tribal game.