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Supporting the Game in Upstate N.Y.

Hall of Fame Class of 2004

The Onondaga Athletic Club 1948-1954 Team

The Onondaga Athletic Club 1948-1954 Team

The Onondaga Athletic Club 1948-1954 Team

In the annals of lacrosse history, certain teams and eras stand out for their remarkable achievements, skillful play, and unwavering dedication. The Onondaga Athletic Club’s lacrosse team from 1948 to 1954 is undoubtedly one of those legendary squads. Hailing from Syracuse, New York, the team left an indelible mark on the sport, not only for their exceptional on-field prowess but also for their commitment to upholding the traditions and values of the game. In this blog post, we delve into the remarkable journey of the Onondaga Athletic Club during this period and its lasting impact on lacrosse.

A Legacy of Dominance and Sportsmanship

The Rise of the Onondaga Athletic Club

The Onondaga Athletic Club emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the post-World War II era. Led by visionary coach Irving Powless Sr., the team combined exceptional talent, strategic brilliance, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Drawing from a rich heritage of Native American lacrosse traditions, the Onondaga players showcased a unique blend of skill, agility, and finesse on the field.

Achievements and Dominance

During their reign from 1948 to 1954, the Onondaga Athletic Club lacrosse team achieved unprecedented success, capturing numerous championships and establishing themselves as the team to beat. They dominated both regional and national competitions, leaving their opponents in awe with their cohesive teamwork, precision passing, and relentless offensive and defensive maneuvers.

Notably, the team secured an impressive string of consecutive victories, earning multiple Wingate Trophies, emblematic of the top lacrosse team in the United States. Their remarkable win streak extended to an astounding 56 games, a record that stood unbroken for decades, showcasing their unmatched dominance during this era.

Contributions to the Evolution of Lacrosse

Beyond their on-field achievements, the Onondaga Athletic Club left a lasting impact on the sport of lacrosse. Their style of play, rooted in the teachings of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) lacrosse tradition, emphasized the importance of ball movement, strategic positioning, and respect for the game.

Through their success, the team helped raise the profile of lacrosse, attracting greater attention and admiration for the sport across the country. Their captivating performances inspired generations of players and fans, spurring the growth of lacrosse and fostering its continued popularity.

Legacy of Sportsmanship

While the Onondaga Athletic Club dominated the lacrosse scene, their legacy extends far beyond mere victories and accolades. The team was known for embodying the values of sportsmanship, respect, and honor. Their conduct on and off the field set an example for all lacrosse players, emphasizing the importance of fair play, camaraderie, and respect for opponents.

The Onondaga Athletic Club’s commitment to the principles of sportsmanship earned them admiration and respect from fans, rival teams, and the lacrosse community at large. They not only played the game at the highest level but also demonstrated the true spirit of sportsmanship, leaving an enduring mark on the sport they loved.


The Onondaga Athletic Club’s lacrosse team from 1948 to 1954 stands as a testament to the power of skill, dedication, and sportsmanship. Through their remarkable achievements, they solidified their place in lacrosse history, captivating audiences with their extraordinary performances and inspiring a new generation of players.

Their legacy lives on in the continued growth and popularity of lacrosse, as well as in the values they championed on and off the field. The Onondaga Athletic Club’s lacrosse team will forever be celebrated for their dominance, their commitment to excellence, and their embodiment of the true spirit of the game. Their story serves as a reminder of the power of teamwork, passion, and respect in sports, and their impact on the lacrosse world will forever be cherished.

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