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DAWSON, POWLESS & ARROWS GO BACK TO SCHOOL
06/20/2013 - 12:50pm

By Craig Rybczynski -- Rochester Knighthawk Dan Dawson was busy off the lacrosse field Tuesday. The former National Lacrosse League MVP and 2013 NLL Champion emphasized fitness, leadership and anti-bullying to two Six Nations schools.

“It was a great experience. Obviously, the Knighthawks have close ties to the Six Nations community,” said Dawson. “I was honored to be there with the Six Nations Arrows players and see what an important role they play in their community.”

Six Nations is the home of Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres, and the location of the team's practice facility. The reserve in southern Ontario has also produced four members of the current NLL Championship team, which includes Johnny Powless, who also plays for the Arrows.

Dawson joined Powless and seven other members of the Junior “A” Six Nations Arrow lacrosse team as they visited Jamieson Elementary and IL Thomas Elementary. Six Nations stars Randy Staats, Josh Johnson, Wenster Green, Brandon Montour, Brendan Bomberry, and Wayne and Warren Hill participated in the two presentations.

The players also handed out T-shirts, signed autographs and answered questions from the school kids, ranging in grades from kindergarten through eighth. It was extra special for Staats, who attended Jamieson Elementary from K through third grade.

“I really enjoyed it. It’s a good thing for the community. They can see us as role models and we can show them that you can do something with lacrosse,” said Staats, who is committed to play for Syracuse University. “We get to tell them about our experiences and what we want to do in the future. It is inspiration for them.”

For Powless, the day was educational as the second-year pro was able to observe NLL veteran Dan Dawson engage a room full of teachers and students. 

“I really enjoy going to the school visits. It’s a lot of fun talking and playing lacrosse with the kids,” said Powless. “Dan was with us and it was nice to listen to him speak in front of the kids. We tried to learn as much as we could from him as he has a lot of experience.”

“I take my role very seriously. I want people to remember me as someone who did the right thing on and off the floor,” added Dawson, who is a 12-year NLL pro. “I am a mentor and use the experience to be a positive role model for the future stars of the game. These are the future stars. My message is to be a good player on the floor, but a better person off the floor.”

Dawson led the discussions and conveyed the “We Got Your Back” anti-bullying message to several hundred students. Dawson, who has participated in the Rochester program, was excited to introduce the program to the schools in Six Nations. 

“We need to make sure we educate people because everyone has been affected by bullying,” said Dawson. “It’s important to do school programs like this in Rochester, but also in the Six Nations community.”

“We told them to be a good person, to do the little things, and be a good leader,” added Staats. “The anti-bullying message was the main thing we wanted to get across. We told them they are not alone if they are getting bullied and to speak up (and tell someone).”


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