About the River Hawks

Welcome to home of the Oswego LC River Hawks. This is the first year debut of the NABLL Oswego team that is actually about 20+ years in the making. Back in the mid-’80s, Assistant GM Doc Nelson was instrumental in the origins of the Oswego scholastic program, the Oswego Lacrosse Club, and box lacrosse at the Crisafulli Rink at Fort Ontario.

River Hawks Forward running
Will Hardy running the break

The Oswego Hawks played parts of two seasons in the Can-Am league in 2001 and
2002, and in the 2003 and 2004, Oswego’s Fort Ontario hosted the Ontario Lacrose
Association’s Junior B All-Star Games, drawing American college coaches from up and down the East Coast. This season really started to take shape last summer. Two Oswego HS alums – including my globetrotting son Brian – were playing for the Salt City Eels, driving an hour for practices and more for games. The Eels won their division championships and traveled to Florida for the IBLA national championship. Three other OHS alumni were playing box lacrosse in a different league in Rochester. Others were sitting around for most of the summer, playing a little field lacrosse here and there.

Brian kept saying to Doc and me, “There’s no reason why we can’t have our own team in
Oswego,” and every time he said it, it started to make more and more sense.
With support from Mayor Bill Barlow, and further backing from a grant from the
Shineman Foundation, the River Hawks are the result of efforts made by many. The Oswego Lacrosse Foundation agreed to let us operate under its name. The NABLL evolved from last year’s IBLA model, and the GMs of both the Eels and Utica Yeti have been extremely open and encouraging every time I approached them with questions.

So, many thanks to our coaches, players, and sponsors, but especially to Doc, Mike
Tucker, and Jason Webb – ironically, people who proudly wore Oswego Hawks jerseys all those years ago. And thanks to you for joining us for our first season. We hope you enjoy the games, and we hope you’ll come back for more River Hawks lacrosse in the future!

  • Dan Witmer
    GM, Oswego LC River Hawks

Break away opportunity during practice

Some people have been asking what box lacrosse is, so here’s the Cliff Notes answer:

1. It looks like hockey, but it’s played like basketball.

2. Yes, it’s fast. There’s a 30 second shot clock, a 10 second clearing rule, and an over-and-back call (like basketball).

3. Yes, it’s rough. Slashing and cross-checking are legal (well, to a point).

4. Players wear lots of pads — gloves, arms, shoulders, back, and rib pads. And a helmet. Always a helmet.

5. Goalies wear LOTS of pads — because lacrosse balls move very fast, and they hurt! (Insert your own Michelin Man joke here…).

6. How fast? Over 100 MPH, from decent shooters. 120 MPH for really good shooters.

7. Who are these guys? A ‘Senior’ team, meaning 18 y/o and older. Almost everyone has college experience — Division I, II, and III — and 2 have professional experience.

8. Most FAQ: How do they score on that goalie? Answer: see # 6 above. That’s 120 MPH, from about 20 feet away.

Team Leadership

General Manager Dan Witmer

Coach Chris Brim

Coach Dylan Donahue

Fly River Hawks Fly!