An edited version of this article originally appeared in the Spring edition of Lacrosse Matters, a newsletter for supporter of the US Lacrosse Foundation.

Bill Allen of Ace Lacrosse has always had a love affair with wooden sticks. He has sticks in his collection from the Onondaga and Mohawk nations, and from legendary stick makers Alf Jacques and Wes Patterson. He took his old high school stick to Lake Placid and a member of the Mohawks restrung it for him.

"I always used leather. More feel," he said.

Allen, who went to high school with Denver head coach Bill Tierney, started Wooden Sticks Day at Palm Beach Central School in Palm Beach, Fla., in support of the Keeper of Lacrosse Project and the sport’s Native American roots.

"The kids loved it," Allen said. "They had a blast throwing and catching with these old wooden sticks with leather, even though the only sticks they’re used to have big pockets and are mesh. I used to break the wooden sticks out at camps and let the campers use them when we scrimmaged, but they take too much of a beating."

Bill finds the sticks on eBay, recycling their usefulness by establishing a connection between today’s players and the roots of lacrosse.

He also shares the stories and the history of the sport, as he did at a practice earlier this year.

"I reviewed the timeline of the origins and tribes," Aleen said. "And finally read my favorite story of the birds and animals. Then the kids wanted me to give them animal names. So throughout the practice I named them all."

Click here to learn more about the Keeper of Lacrosse Project.

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