AKWESASNE - The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe dedicated a newly constructed lacrosse box to Travis Solomon, a lacrosse legend who left an immeasurable impact on the sport of lacrosse in many communities. In his honor, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Generations Park in Akwesasne.
Mr. Solomon was a tribal employee for nine years. In October 2010, he was overcome by Lou Gehrig’s disease. He played lacrosse from 1976 to 2006. The Solomon family, including his wife, mother, brother, uncle, grandsons and niece, had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
The new lacrosse box is one of only three on the territory. The project started in August 2013 as a result of community feedback requesting the tribe address the limited access to a venue to train and play. The cost of the project is approximately $275,000.
“Travis Solomon was an accomplished lacrosse player and a driving force behind the development of Generations Field and complex while an employee of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. It is a source of tremendous pride for us to honor him and his family today,” St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council Director Tsiorasa Barreiro said in his opening remarks,
Chief Ron LaFrance, a personal friend and the man inspired by Mr. Solomon’s vision of Generations Park, thanked everyone who assisted in the box construction, including Justin Durant, Sam Benedict, Jake Arquette, Bill Arquette, Brent Herne, Brian Herne, Rob Henhawk, Chance Tarbell and Jim McDonald.
“None of this would have been possible without the vision of Travis Solomon. Our children are developing skills that are catching the eyes of college lacrosse coaches all over the place. Niawen:kówa Travis,” he said.
During the ceremony, generations of lacrosse players were honored and recognized for their contributions to the sport, including the Akwesasne Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the youth and current inspirational professional players. Lacrosse coach and legend David White spoke on behalf of the Hall of Fame and recognized the history of the sport, what it meant to him as a player and a coach, followed by Peter Garrow who shared stories and honored legendary Akwesashró:non athletes.
Mr. Solomon was a member of the Iroquois Nationals in 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles; the Goodwill Tour in 1985 in Manchester, England; World Lacrosse Invitational in 1986 in Buffalo; and World Lacrosse Championship in 1990 and in 2006 in Perth, Australia and London, Ontario, respectively.
His career began as a goalie at Lafayette High School, where he was honored as the NYSLA goalie. He continued at Cobleskill Jr. College and then attended Syracuse University as an NCAA Division 1 goalie. After graduation, he played for the Onondaga Athletics, Akwesasne Thunder, the Valleyfield Dynamites, the Akwesasne Outlaws and the Kahnawake Chiefs.
During his career, he was awarded two Canadian Masters championships, 1983 NCCA championship at Syracuse University, Festival Team MVP Goalie and in his final year of playing, Top Goalie Award at the age of 46.
Upon retirement from playing, Mr. Solomon coached minor lacrosse and became a spokesman for traditional people and culture of the Creator’s Game. He was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2013. His footprint in Akwesasne will be perpetually honored at Generations Park.
Food and water were graciously donated by Speedway and Atomic Place.