Carl “Ket” Weist
Carl “Ket” Weist
In 1957, the state of New York designated Lafayette High School as the school responsible for the secondary education of the students from the Onondaga Nation. Because of cultural differences, there was racial tension within the high school, especially between the male Native students and the male non-Native students.
Carl “Ket” Weist was a science teacher at Lafayette High School and had played lacrosse for Dennison University in Ohio. Mr. Weist was aware of the importance of lacrosse to Native Americans. In 1959, he solicited the support of the state Indian agent for the Onondaga’s, who lived in Lafayette, to form a lacrosse team at Lafayette High School. Mr. Weist was confident that the lacrosse team would ease tension between the Native and non-Native students. He also felt that lacrosse would be a catalyst to encourage Native students to finish high school. The Native dropout rate, especially among males was over 75%.
In 1960, a club team was formed and in 1961, the new Lafayette High School team played in the Onondaga County Lacrosse League and the Upstate New York Lacrosse League. Through his diligence and coaching, the team developed. In 1963, Lafayette won the Onondaga League title. This was the start of the LAFAYETTE LACROSSE TRADITION which continues to this day. The actions, visions, and dedication of Mr. Weist were instrumental in bringing the Lafayette Community and the Onondaga Nation together through sport and there was a noticeable increase in the Native graduation rate.
Carl ‘Ket” Weist coached through the 1966 season when he turned his team over to Gordon Ostrom. His team won League Championships in 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1966. Several of his players went on to play lacrosse in college; Mike Smith and John Patterson-RIT, Howard Shute and Dan Porter-Brockport, Bruce Shute-Clarkson University, Laverne Doctor, Ron Doctor, Leo Nolan, and Ron Hill-Syracuse University, Steve Wood-West Point Military Academy, John Porter-Hobart, Mark Werder-Albany State, Bob Shaw-Cornell, Brad Bruce-Middlebury College, Travis Cook-Oswego State, and Tom Scofield-Farmingdale Community College & Brockport. These players, as well as all the others who played for Coach Weist, were not thought of as Native or non-Native lacrosse players, they are LAFAYETTE LACROSSE PLAYERS thanks to Coach Carl Weist.