HISTORY OF LACROSSE IN GIG HARBOR
The Harbor Fire Lacrosse Association-- an organization developed to support both boy’s and girl’s lacrosse, brought modern lacrosse to Gig Harbor, WA in 2009, providing teams for grades 3rd through 8th.
In 2010, a combined Peninsula and Gig Harbor High School team was formed. The initial group of 19 high school boys grew to a roster of over 60 by 2013. In the four year history, the team finished with a record of 36-25, claimed two conference championships, earned four 1st round playoff appearances, and had 7 players earn All-Conference honors.
Peninsula and Gig Harbor Split
In, the league’s governing body (Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association) mandated that conglomerate clubs split, so separate teams were created to align with PHS and GHHS. In conjunction with the mandated High School split, it was decided by the Peninsula Lacrosse Association Board of Directors to continue the split throughout all youth teams, to better preserve and cultivate the growth and interest of lacrosse for those players residing within the Peninsula High School catchment area.
Since the split, the Peninsula Lacrosse Association has supported and developed players at grades 2nd through 12th. Our High School Program has seen a tremendous amount of success earning multiple league championships, as well as earning many individual player recognitions as All-Conference and the South Sound areas first player, in history, to be recognized at the national level as All-American.
In the spirit of the Apple Cup and Fish Bowl, the Baggataway Bowl was established to commemorate the common origin of the two squads, celebrate their natural rivalry, and honor the heritage of The Game. “Baaga`adowe” is the Ojibwe word for the Native American game we know as “lacrosse,” a name prescribed in 1636 by French Jesuit Missionaries. Native Americans considered Baaga`adowe to be “The Creator’s Game,” a divine gift, and in turn they played the game with great reverence to honor the Creator, heal the sick or injured, resolve disputes, and prepare warriors for battle. The Baggataway Bowl was envisioned as an annual event between the PHS and GHHS teams to honor their common history and the heritage of the sport, to resolve the dispute over which team is better, and to prepare the players for the rest of the season. In keeping with the tradition of The Creator’s Game being played to heal community members, The Bowl may be dedicated to a player who is sick or injured or an ailing member of the lacrosse community.
The victor of the Baggataway Bowl is awarded “The Fire Stick” trophy. The Fire Stick is a symbol of the Harbor Fire Lacrosse Association, of the players, coaches, and families who divided into two proud clubs, and of baaga`adowe itself. The winning team may honor one of its players as the Keeper of the Stick, who shall be its steward until the next meeting of the two teams; or the Fire Stick may be displayed in an appropriate community trophy case. It is intended that the Fire Stick shall pass to the winner after each contest in perpetuity.
Dedicated by the HFLA Founding Fathers, coaches, and players of the 1st Baaga`adowe Bowl, March 18, 2014