Chase Scanlan (Seneca): Playing Lacrosse at an Elite Level For Family, Community And Heritage

By Dan Ninham | December 10, 2019 | Reprinted from
Photo Credit: Rich Barnes Photography

Chase Scanlan competes for Syracuse University Men’s Lacrosse. He is 6-0, 180 lbs., and plays the attack position.

Chase is a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Cattaraugus Territory, just south of Buffalo, NY. His father is Thomas Scanlan, mother is Heather Kettle and both are Seneca and from Cattaraugus Territory as well.

Chase was an Under Armor All American in high school. He played in the FIL World Games with the Iroquois Nationals in 2018 as an 18 year old and youngest in the blue division. In college, he was 2nd team All American in NCAA DI lacrosse as a freshman, First Team All Patriot League and Patriot League Rookie of the Year. In box lacrosse, he was a member of the 2018 Minto Cup Champions.

“Lacrosse is the Creators game that was given to us to entertain him,” said Chase. “I was always taught to respect the game and play with a clear mind. The game brings joy to my community and when I play, I play for my family, community and heritage.”

“One extremely influential person in my life is my cousin Zed Williams,” said Chase. “He’s Seneca as well from the same territory. I grew up watching him play and developed a similar style of play to his game. He went to Virginia University and now plays pro lacrosse and everything he has done up to this point has shown me anything is possible as long as I stick to it.”

“I’ve known Chase since he was in elementary school,” said Zed. “He’s always been a stand out at his age, but as he got older he kept being a bigger and bigger standout no matter the age, or no matter the sport. He is a great athlete, but he also has toughness and the passion to be great at lacrosse. But most importantly I’m proud of the young man he is now as I know he’s going to be great off the field as well in everything he does.” “Another huge influence in my life is my Dad,” said Chase. “My dad would give all the money he had just to send me to tournaments or pay for equipment just to make sure I could play. He always believed in me and told me growing up that I can be a leader for the community.”

Chase’s dad Thomas Scanlan talked about his son: “Chase growing up was almost always the best player on the floor or field. I coached him for most of his childhood in football and basketball. I tried to instill in him to always lead by example and always pick up your teammates when they’re down. It took him a few years to understand this concept but once he understood it he implemented in my opinion in everyday life. When he went to middle school in 7th grade he played at a varsity level so I let him play with the likes of Zed Williams and I told him watch and learn. Sometimes you need to follow to learn how to lead. He seemed to understand this and Zed took him under his wing so to speak. Zed was a quiet leader and Chase is the total opposite of that. I believe that the encouragement he received from the community and his family molded him into the man he is today and as his dad I am his biggest fan and support him in ever aspect of his life.” “Uncle Charlie Scanlan influences me most with life lessons,” said Chase. “I learn so much from him, he has 11 kids and cares so much about his family it’s something that can be explained but felt. He helps the community and goes out of his way for others and that is what I admire about him so much. His daughter is Shayla Scanlan who has been featured in NDNsports before.”

Uncle Charlie talked about his nephew: “Chase has always been the kinda kid … young man that makes things happen. At a young age Chase would set his mind on something and figure out a way to make that happen. He would ask me things most kids wouldn’t. Things like when he was an 8 yr old he asked, “how far is Nappanee, Ontario? I asked why, his reply was, I want to go try out for the Iroquois National Minor Box Lacrosse peewee team. I told him and he made it happen. He found himself on that Peewee National Team. And every year he made that team until he aged out at the midget level. Next he wanted to try out for the Iroquois National U19. And what do you know he made the roster. Along with the men’s Iroquois National teams.”

“Chase is always up to something it just so happens that he loves sports. Not just one sport but many sports. Chase is competitive in everything. It’s in his DNA. He isn’t afraid to take that first step into the unknown. Whenever he needs someone or something he will ask his folks. But when he wants something, he will ask me how to achieve the issue/issues set in front of him. My wife of 27 years and I have 11 children together ranging from 26-2 years of age. We have seen many situations pop up over the years. And our door is always open to our nieces/nephews. So Chase would always be hanging out at the house with our son Clay and they are two peas in a pod. Chase is like a fifth son to me. We are excited for him as he prepares for his next great unknown. Not many young men are up to the challenges of stepping into the jersey’s of #22 for SU. They just don’t give that to just anyone. I believe Chase is going to do great things in his life. This is the beginning of a new chapter for him at SU and the kid is up for it. So watch out

SCANLAN #22 is coming from SU,” added Uncle Charlie.

A family tradition of lacrosse is happening in the extended Scanlon household in Seneca Territory. “My cousin Shayla Scanlan is at Louisville University, is a junior and she was the first one in our family to play DI lacrosse, I was second and now my other cousin Lois Garlow is a freshman at Coastal Carolina playing DI lacrosse. My father Charlie and Lois’s mother Cheri are siblings and we are the first generation playing DI lacrosse while getting educated at great colleges. Shayla’s younger sister Miya Scanlan just committed to play DI lacrosse at Jacksonville University. We as the Scanlan family are trying our hardest to inspire other families and kids within our community that they can use their gifts of lacrosse to get educated and at the end of all of it use the knowledge we gather to help advance our community. It’s the start of a tradition in our family and I hope it keeps growing because I have a lot of younger siblings and the Scanlan family is a big family,” added Chase.

“Our family is blessed we are able to watch our children achieve there dreams, and get a education through lacrosse,” said Uncle Charlie. “Our daughter Shayla #66 is a junior at Louisville. Our son Clay #81 is the youngest player to be drafted and signed in the NLL to the Halifax Thunderbirds. He is a senior in high school. And Miya our daughter is a junior in high school and has committed to Jacksonville University. Our children love this game as I do. It has taken us to places most people can only dream of. Clay will be on the Iroquois National U19 team 2020. He has been training with the Thunderbirds but got a call from the head coach asking him if he will be ready to play this summer.”

Mark Burnam, Chase’s former head coach at IMG Academy and current Iroquois Nationals coach said: Chase Scanlan is a fierce competitor with a never quit attitude! I don’t ever remember him missing not one practice or a game due to injury as long as I have coached Chase and I have been around him since 8th and 9th grade. It is his never quit attitude that I think fuels his drive for competition and coming in first at everything he does. Chase has always been a leader on and off the field. When players want to win at everything they do is often misread as selfish. Chase’s preparedness for competition has earned him all the accolades now and so well deserved. The toughness shows in his game is his willingness to compete at the highest level that I felt is second to none.

Chase wears everything on his sleeve and there’s is no faking it with Chase. He is a ‘what you see is what you get’ kid who comes prepared and ready to play no matter what every single game. I feel that is Chase’s biggest accolade in my mind. It’s something as a coach you would love all your players to have … fierce competitiveness and a never quit attitude and Chase absolutely portrays that!”