Battle of the Barge 2023

River Hawks go 2-0 at Utica’s Battle on the Barge

Jack Rice looking to feed the ball vs Collar City Kings

With a balanced offense and a gritty defense, the Oswego River Hawks box lacrosse team went undefeated at the 2nd Annual Battle on the Barge Invitational at the Utica University Nexus Center on Saturday, downing the host Utica Yeti 12-9 and then holding on for a 10-8 win against Troy’s Collar City Kings. The River Hawks/Yeti game was the first North American Box Lacrosse League (NABLL) contest of the 2023 season.

In the first game, the River Hawks led 3-2 after the first quarter and 6-5 at halftime. The Yeti tied the score just seconds into the third quarter, but goals by Shane Cook, Will Hardy, and Mason Blakeman put Oswego up 10-7 early in the fourth quarter. Utica responded with two straight goals to bring the margin to one, but River Hawks tallies from Hardy and Ryan Mahoney gave Oswego the final three-goal cushion.

Goalie Jack Beck was steady from start to finish, recording 23 saves for a 71.9 save percentage. Oswego’s offensive production was shared by eight different players, with Hardy and Blakeman scoring three goals apiece.

A 10 AM start time left the River Hawks a little short-handed for the first game against the Yeti, who won the NABLL’s Upstate Division title last year, but reinforcements for the second game gave the River Hawks some much-needed energy. After a 90-minute break between games, Oswego faced the Collar City Kings for the first time ever. The Kings play in the NABLL’s Metro Division, with teams up and down the Hudson River and Metropolitan area, and they won their Division last year as well.

Carson Colucci helped put the River Hawks on the board first as he fed former Oswego HS teammate Jack Rice for the game’s first goal. The score was tied 1-1 at the end of one quarter, and the River Hawks led 3-2 at halftime. With a five-goal explosion in the third quarter, Oswego led 8-4 after three quarters, but the Kings rallied to bring the score to 8-7 and then again at 9-8. Will Hardy finished off a pretty pass from Lucas Hoskin late in the game to seal the two-goal victory.

Once again, balanced scoring was the River Hawks’ offensive signature – Hardy led all scorers with three points (2-1), followed by Rice (1-1), Colucci (1-1), Hoskin (1-1), Thomas Berry (1-1), Mahoney (1-1), Blakeman (1-0), and Cook (1-0). Beck was solid in goal again, allowing just four goals through three quarters, making 25 saves for an 86.2 % save percentage. Tom Fernaays played the fourth quarter, allowing four goals and registering four saves.

In the third game of the day, the Collar City Kings defeated the Utica Yeti by a 13-8 score. Both Will Hardy and Shane Cook were named to the All-Battle Team for their efforts and results. The River Hawks host the Thousand Island Spirits in their home opener this Friday, June 9 at the Crisafulli Rink at Fort Ontario; game time is set for 7:30 PM. There is an admission fee for those 18 and older; those 17 and younger are admitted for free. Friday’s game will be Oswego Lacrosse Club Night, with proceeds from the game’s 50/50 raffle going to the OLC.

Written by Dan Witmer

River Hawks @ Utica Yeti – 6.24.22

News Highlight from

Article from Daily Sentinel

ROME — The Utica Yeti box lacrosse team has found some early success against new team Oswego River Hawks.

In the second game between the semi-pro North American Box Lacrosse League teams in a week on Friday, Utica scored 10 times in the first half and rolled to an 18-6 win over the River Hawks at Kennedy Arena in Rome. (Read more here)

Oswego River Hawks Take Flight

From Road Trip Dad – GM Dan Witmer

2022 Oswego River Hawks

Making its first journey from the nest, sometimes the fledgling falls clumsily to the ground; sometimes it takes flight like it’s been doing it all its life. 

What would the first-year Oswego River Hawks do? 

I’ll get to that; I promise. But first, let’s see how and why this team was hatched… 

Saturday night’s debut of a North American Box Lacrosse League Oswego team was 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, yes, box lacrosse right here at the Crisafulli Rink at Fort Ontario. (Link to Road Trip Dad article)

Oswego River Hawks to Debut this Summer

Article from the Oswego County County News

Pictured from left are Oswego High School varsity attackman Logan Crannell, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, River Hawks General Manager Dan Witmer, and Oswego High School varsity defender Kaiden Whiteside. Crannell and Whiteside are modeling the River Hawks’ home and away uniforms and helping the team with social media.

OSWEGO — With assistance from Mayor Billy Barlow and the city of Oswego, as well as a substantial grant from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, the Oswego Lacrosse Foundation (OLF) will be sponsoring a men’s senior box lacrosse team that will play in the North American Box Lacrosse League this summer.

The city will be making Crisafulli Rink at Fort Ontario available for the River Hawks’ weekly practices and home games. Practices started the last week of April, and games should get underway by the middle of June.

“The city of Oswego is excited to partner with the Oswego River Hawks to bring more opportunities for Oswego youths to play lacrosse right here in our community. By providing a home to the River Hawks at Crisafulli Rink, we can support the team, ensure long-term success, and make playing lacrosse more accessible to Oswego residents,” said Barlow. LINK TO FULL STORY