MLL Coaches on Lyle Thompson's Contributions to the Game

November 20, 2020 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Chesapeake Bayhawks News Release

BOSTON - With a lacrosse stick placed in his hands as early as he could walk, Lyle Thompson evolved into an icon for players of all ages within the game. Proudly from the Onondaga Nation, one of the original five constituent nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, Thompson has represented the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse since 2014.

Despite coaching the Boston Cannons to hoisting the Steinfeld Trophy, Sean Quirk cannot speak highly enough about Thompson's presence on the field.

"Lyle's demeanor on the field exudes humbleness; he plays and competes like no other," Quirk said. His respect for the game, his opponents, and his team is truly remarkable - all this being said of one, if not the best, player in the world currently."

The dominance Thompson shows on the field goes beyond notice. Philadelphia Barrage Head Coach Spencer Ford describes Thompson as having "all of it" when it comes to skill level.

"He has the best skill in the world; there is no play he cannot make. He takes a beating out there and draws doubles and triples, yet he never goes down," Ford praised. "The fact that he can take such pressure and still stay on his feet and make the best play, it's just not like anything human. He is the lacrosse superhero, and I love watching him play as I have front row seats."

New York Lizards Head Coach B.J. O'Hara has to agree. "Obviously, he is among the best players in the world and has great success at every level. He is highly skilled but more importantly, a tremendous competitor who makes his teammates better."

Off the field, Thompson is known for using his platform to speak out regarding important issues.

"Lyle wants to get educated on the subject before he discusses it and puts anything out there for people to make a judgment," Chesapeake Bayhawks Head Coach Tom Mariano said. "When he says something, it's been very well thought out. He's an elite-level athlete, but honestly, an even better human being."

"He has helped all players, young and old, realize the history and true meaning of the creator's game for [Indegenous people]," Connecticut Hammerheads Assistant Coach Bobby Horsey said. "He has advocated for equality in all areas of funding, participation in organized events, and shared the history of the sport with all that love the game."

Thompson's dual-first overall selection in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and National Lacrosse League (NLL) came after his outstanding collegiate career, being the first Native American player to win the Tewaaraton Award back-to-back. For the Iroquois Nationals, Thompson represents the Haudenausonee people who gave the game of lacrosse to the world.

"His contributions on the field have been many, but even greater has been the example he sets every time he takes the field with fair play and sportsmanship," added Denver Outlaws Head Coach Tony Seaman. "No one represents the spirit of the game better than Lyle Thompson.

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