By Dan Ninham | Reprinted from NDNSPORTS.com | April 7, 2020 | Photo credit: Kristen Sledge-Whitcomb
Amos Whitcomb is a member of the Seneca Nation and of the Snipe Clan. His Native name is Hadeÿost, which translates to “The fighter”. He is the son of Chad Stxy Whitcomb and Rae Lynn George. Amos is from the Allegany Territory in Salamanca, New York. He is 17 years old and a junior at Salamanca Senior High School, Salamanca, NY.
Family and Brother Influences
“When I play lacrosse, I play for my family, especially my little brother Kaine,” said Amos. “Family means a lot to me and I love how everyone comes out to watch me play and show their support for me and the lacrosse team. Growing up, my brothers and I would wear #42 to honor my Grandpa, he passed away in 2008, but he was a huge part of who we are as a family. We all looked up to him and wanted him to be proud of us. The reason we wear #42 is because he was born in 1942. He was a member of the Seneca Nation Wolf Clan.”
“Next, my brothers Kobe and Keion, I have looked up to both of them since I was a baby,” said Amos. “I went to all of their practices and games. I watched them and learned from them. We would play lacrosse in the yard, in the house and everywhere we went. Even though I was younger than both of them they would never take it easy on me. We would be full contact in the yard with our Dad in the goal. We would have no pads at all and they would never let me win, let alone pick up the ball. I had to fight for everything I did with them. We were competitive and wanted to win, even in backyard lacrosse or mini-lax in the house. I feel I am the way I am today because of those two, for never letting me win, never letting me quit, and always teaching and showing me lacrosse.”
“My brother Kaine pushes me in a different way,” said Amos. “He’s my younger brother, but I look up to him and I am encouraged and motivated by him. Kaine was born with a rare genetic disorder. Doctors said he could never play sports or do everyday things like the rest of us. Growing up my Dad taught us to never treat him any different, show him to play, run, learn lacrosse and know he wasn’t any different than us. Kaine would play with us in the yard, in the house, and at the Community Center. Finally the day came when Kaine got the “OK” from his doctors to actually play box lacrosse, and it was a great moment. He loved being out on the floor, always happy, always giving all he could. He could only play one minute in a whole game and he still was the happiest kid out there. He loved playing and especially loved being part of a team. He’s played three years of box lacrosse and started his second year of field lacrosse for the modified team in Salamanca.”
“I play for Kaine because now he looks up to me. He comes to my practices, and my games. He watches everything I do and I want to be a positive role model and brother to him. He has been through so much and it feels good to make him happy or smile. He always tells me something I should have done in a game, or gets excited about a certain goal I had then he goes home and tires it. So, I guess you can say I compete for my family! They all play a part in my success on the field and in the classroom.”
Academic and Athletic Accomplishments
Amos is a high honor roll student at Salamanca HS. He has perfect attendance the past two years and is in the top 10 in his class in the past three years. Amos is a member of the National Honor Society and Seneca Language Honor Society. He’s a Boys State Finalist. He also does community service at the Allegany Community Center with his dad and at the Food Pantry with his mom.
Playing lacrosse since he was three years old for the Allegany Arrows, Amos played with many teams and in tournaments. He is most proud to play with his brothers in local tournaments. Amos played for Champion Lacrosse and earned a bronze medal for Team Haudenosaunee at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games where he also was named MVP.
Amos finished as the #2 ranked point scorer in Western NY. He was an All American Honorable Mention athlete. The dad-coached Salamanca HS modified season had a 12-0 record this past season. As a freshman varsity player, he scored 36 goals with 32 assists. This past year as a sophomore on varsity, he scored 60 goals with 66 assists.
“My tribe core values definitely contribute to who I am as an athlete,” said Amos. “The Creator gave us lacrosse and I am so proud to play for all the people who can’t, the old, young, and my family. The game of lacrosse is so important to Native Americans, and it is our game! Growing up on such a small reservation really brings us all together as a community and keeps us close to our culture and historical roots.”
Coaches As Positive Influences
“Franky Brown positively influenced me as a competitive athlete,” said Amos. “He is a family friend and played at Hobart College, Iroquois Nationals, and the Buffalo Bandits. Franky has always given me positive encouragement. He’s a great guy and I really appreciated all he has done for me. He would train me one-on-one in the lacrosse arena, let me know what to work on, encouraged me to keep my grades up, and stay out of trouble. We have been in the weight room together and he has given me advice on college and what it takes to succeed. Franky has played at a high level of lacrosse his whole life and I feel privileged that he sees something in me and he makes time to help me anyway he can.”
“Josh Becker is a fitness coordinator and friend,” said Amos. “He and I are close friends and he always has advice for me in life and lacrosse. He would train with me at times and give me college workouts to do. He played for the Iroquois Nationals, college, and professional lacrosse so I always listen when he tells me how to do something.”
“I’ve always had a strong relationship with Jesse Jimerson,” said Amos. “He’s a great person, father, and role model, all three of them are! I use to love watching Jesse play lacrosse, his style, always going all out, always playing his best. Jesse played for Six Nation Rebels, Arrows, and Iroquois Nationals.”
“I met Brad about three months ago,” said Amos. “I started doing his Warrior Boot Camp class at 5:30am, 3 days a week. I wanted to prepare for the upcoming season. Brad has become my personal trainer two days a week, pushing me, getting me into shape. I really appreciated the time he has put into helping me out to become a better lacrosse player. He’s always upbeat and positive and very knowledgeable in the fitness field.”
The Holistic Way of Life with Training and Performance
The holistic way of life is focused on a balance of body, mind, spirit, and emotion. To be able to practice and perform at a peak level all four area’s need to be trained efficiently.
“I have been doing a lot of skill training to maximize my performance,” said Amos. “In the off-season I go to our arena or high school four times a week to run or shoot, usually September-November. I started hitting the weight room this off-season as well, working with Frank, Josh, Jesse and Brad. Before school I go to Warrior Boot Camp at 5:30 am with my friend Tre and twenty others! Just before the season I started with a personal trainer to ensure I will be in shape physically and mentally. And of course I am in the yard with my dad and brothers. My Dad always reminds me everything starts at home.”
“There’s always room for improvement and I’m always working to increase my knowledge about the game and the fundamentals of lacrosse,” said Amos. “It’s just as important as physically playing the game. Also, the historical element of the game, that’s something I would also like to improve, my knowledge on because the game is so important to my heritage.”
“The day I was given a small wooden lacrosse stick was the day lacrosse and I were connected forever,” said Amos. It’s a way of life, and it’s all over on the ‘rez’, now it’s in colleges and on TV. I will always love lacrosse and I want to do so much more with it. High school, college, pros…it’s in my blood, it’s in our culture, and it will always be with me spiritually.”
“When I’m faced with stressful game situations I remind myself that it’s just a game, a game I love to play,” said Amos. “It’s not about the stats to me or just winning. It’s about the love of the game, my friends, family, and teammates. The coaches I have met, friends I have made, the traveling because of lacrosse. Lacrosse will always mean family to me including my dad, my brothers, my grandparents, and especially Kaine. He taught me to always look on the positive side of things. There will always be another game.”
Coping with the Pandemic
“I’m staying well by following the guidelines given to us all by staying home and indoors most of the time,” said Amos. “I still train by laxing in the backyard and doing workouts in the house with push ups, sit ups and squats. I’m also doing my schoolwork. But in all honesty, schoolwork has taught me to slow down a little and not be on the go as much as we use to be. I’ve been spending a lot of the time with my Gram, Dad, and Kaine, so that’s the silver lining in the whole situation. It has brought us closer, put our phones down, talk, play games, watch movies. That’s the positive I am getting out of this all – FAMILY.”