The Golden Stick
We all know that lacrosse is an American game with its roots going back to some Native American Indian tribes of Oklahoma. Indians are also known for the feathered headdress often seen on warriors and chiefs in paintings and pictures. Each headdress varied from tribe to tribe as it represented the culture of that tribe.
Indian headdresses are known for their mass of feathers, but do you know what the feathers represent? Warriors earned a feather each time they did something the tribe felt was a brave or notable accomplishment.
Each time a feather was earned, it would either be worn or put on a pole used for special occasions. Because each feather had a special meaning, binding them together in a headdress made that Indian headdress even more special. The most prized of all feathers to receive for an Indian headdress was the Golden Eagle feather. Because the Indians saw the eagle as a messenger of God, this feather could only be earned through hardship, loyalty, and strength.
Similarly, our American military uses campaign streamers attached to military flags called guidons that are particular to each unit. These streamers recognize particular achievements or events of that military unit. Attached to what is called the “headpiece” of the assigned flag, the streamer is an inscribed ribbon with the name and date denoting participation in a particular battle, military campaign, or theater of war.
Like these American Indian tribes and US military units, Keller Lacrosse possesses our own tradition and special way of noting our team’s historical accomplishments. Just as the most coveted feather is from the Golden Eagle, our battle flag pole or guide-on is a Golden Lacrosse stick.
Our Golden Stick displays feathers, which like campaign streamers are inscribed with the names and dates of the significant on-field milestones of our team through its history. The Golden Stick is handed down each year by the outgoing senior who currently holds it, to a junior he feels will best display the on-field virtues of leadership, loyalty, and strength so coveted by warriors going in to battle. This honor comes with the reward of having his name inscribed on a battle feather and grouped with feathers of Keller Lacrosse warriors previously entrusted with the keeping of the Golden Stick since its inception.
Keeper of the Golden Stick Responsibilities
You have been awarded the honor of keeping our teams’ physical manifestation of its history and tradition – the Golden Stick. This honor has been bestowed upon you because the previous keeper of the Stick believes that you will best display the on-filed virtues of leadership, loyalty, and strength, just as he was awarded the honor by the senior before him, and the senior before him, and so on back to the beginning of this Keller Lacrosse tradition in the earliest years of our association.
This honor does not come without some responsibilities.
It is YOUR responsibility to live up to the virtues for which you received this honor
It is YOUR responsibility to carry The Stick to significant team events and games
It is YOUR responsibility to ensure the security and integrity of The Stick, including any repair or replacement of feather or stick parts damaged or lost under your keeping.
It is YOUR responsibility to purchase and add the feather with your name as well as any team accomplishments you might be fortunate enough to be a part of while you are its keeper.
Finally, it is YOUR responsibility to recognize and choose the follow-on keeper of the stick, based on the virtues previously mentioned; and to pass on the history and tradition of the Golden Stick with an appropriate presentation at your senior year banquet.