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Wood Stick Wednesday: Patterson Youth Stick

This week we’re taking a look at a Patterson Youth Stick, and this Wood Stick Wednesday post goes back to the early 1970s!

John Wesley Patterson, of the Tuscarora Nation, grew up in New York State, played lacrosse, and went on to attend Springfield College in Massachusetts. He graduated in 1951, after being named All-New England twice, and once scored a combined 25 goals in two back to back games for the Pride. After graduating, he moved to Maryland and for the next 19 years he worked in the school system, and coached a whole lot of lacrosse at various high schools. He also started two middle school teams.

Patterson Youth Stick – The History

In 1970, Patterson returned to New York, and started Tuskewe Krafts, which focused on high quality Native American hand-made goods, and wooden lacrosse sticks were part of the equation. The company he founded in 1971 is still in existence today in Patterson’s home town of Sanborn, NY. And this is where those beautiful and unique Patterson Tuscarora wooden lacrosse sticks come from!

patterson_youth_stick_tuscarora_lacrosse

I will get to the sticks’ unique features soon, but first I want to finish on John Wesley Patterson. He was quite an interesting man!

Not only did he coach for almost 20 years in Maryland, play in college himself, AND start a wooden stick manufacturing company, but Patterson also helped start the Iroquois Nationals program, coached an Iroquois All-Star team in 1980, and presented a wooden stick to the Prince Edward in 1994. And that’s really only the beginning. For more on Patterson, click HERE and HERE. He led an amazing life.

The sticks he designed and made? They are almost a style unto themselves.

Patterson sticks typically have a much flatter scoop than other more curved sticks. When compared to sticks from TLAX, Old MMco sticks, or Mike Thompson’s sticks, you can see a marked difference in scoop shape and width. This results in a truly triangular look to the sticks, and this is something much more common in the women’s game.

patterson youth stick

Seeing as Patterson sticks were extremely popular with women, this makes a lot of sense! In fact, the women’s game in Canada feels so indebted to Patterson for his efforts with their game that the annual trophy for women’s college lacrosse is named after him. If you go to any women’s tourney where 30 and over players are playing, you are likely to still see one or two Patterson sticks out there on the field. Wood lasted much longer in the women’s game, and All-Americans were still using wood as last as the early 2000s in women’s NCAA lacrosse (Kathryn Doherty of Williams comes to mind immediately, probably because we went to high school together and she’s awesome).

In addition to the flat scoop, Patterson sticks are often thinner through the handle than other sticks, and this is a throwback to how many wooden sticks used to be made. This was done for lightness and feel, and it went over well with scorers, and of course the more finesse-oriented women’s game.

I took the old pocket out of this stick and used similar materials to reproduce a comparable pocket, keeping the original coated string “gut” wall in tact. From the looks of this youth stick, it was probably a girls youth stick as the stringing was quite tight, but now that it’s sanded down and has a small pocket in it, any child could pick it up and find enjoyment with it.