When Terry Dooley became a parent volunteer for his son’s lacrosse team in San Diego, it opened doors he never knew existed. Under the guidance of Dennis Yeatman, he learned everything he could about coaching, the Native American roots of lacrosse, and the power of the wooden lacrosse stick. Yeatman had shown Dooley a wooden Hattersley stick he traded with an English player in the 1970s, and Dooley’s curiosity about lacrosse grew deeper. 

But it was an introduction to Brendon Drew that sealed the deal for his affinity with lacrosse. “Brendon and I share a background in emergency medical services, and the baggage that comes along with it,” said Terry. “Lacrosse gave us an outlet to not pay attention to those scars.” 

Highly decorated as first-responders, the two had an instant connection based on their life-altering experiences. They used lacrosse to keep themselves grounded; the magic came with the stick. Before Brendon left for a tour of duty, he ordered a wooden stick for Terry to be made in the Iroquois tradition by Alf Jacques, the stick-maker in Upstate New York. While Brendon was still deployed, his wife presented Terry with the stick at the end of the season team party. Terry was almost as honored to receive the stick as he was to be asked to be the godfather of Brendon’s twins.

Terry packed his family up and headed to the Adirondacks for vacation, eventually landing on the reservation where Alf makes his sticks and discovering the more spiritual side of lacrosse. “It was like meeting the Pope,” said Terry. While there, Terry ordered a stick for Brendon, and had the Hattersley stick refinished for Dennis because “the only thing better than getting an ‘Alfie’ is having Alf agree to make one for someone else.”

The Native Americans believe the stick is an extension of your arm; the perfect gift for these brothers-in-arms in lacrosse and life.

US Lacrosse Foundation

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Lacrosse Matters, a periodic publication for financial supporters of US Lacrosse.

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