This is a homage to the rich history of athletes that have called the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory home or have ancestral connections to the band. By no means is this a comprehensive list nor is it a list of the best or greatest athletes from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, as the history is so rich and so diverse Total Sports cannot begin to scratch the surface of so many great stories.
We hope to illustrate a few that people may or may not be aware of with fairly recent successes. Total Sports would like to recognize that the athletes listed here have had tremendous success abroad which is in honour of their great athletic ancestors who may not have had the same opportunities but have allowed these athletes to stand on their shoulders to accomplish terrific things in their careers.
Ernest “Patty” Maracle
We can’t start any discussion of Tyendinaga Mohawk Athletes without talking about Ernest “Patty” Maracle. Perhaps one of the most talked about and prolific athletes from our area who never played professionally but should have.
Not only was his athletic prowess legendary, it had incredible longevity. Patty excelled at fastball and hockey, playing fastball until he was 68 and hockey right up until his untimely passing at the age of 73 in 1991. A right handed pitcher excelled with a number of local teams but perhaps is best remembered from his time leading the Point Anne Cementmen who dominated provincial softball during that era.
Tyendinaga Mohawk teams with Patty at the helm were almost unstoppable at tournaments across the country and into the U.S. He has left a tremendous legacy both from his exploits and through the success of his family which has a rich history of producing very talented athletes.
Norm Maracle – NHL Goalie
Norm was born in Belleville but grew up in Western Canada despite having deep family roots in Tyendinaga. Norm played his minor hockey in Calgary, which led to him being drafted by the WHL Saskatoon Blades where he played two seasons highlighted by winning the Del Wilson Trophy as the best goalie in the WHL in 1993-94, as well as the CHL goalie of the year.
Norm was drafted by the Detroit Red wings in the 5th round, 126th overall in the 1993 Entry Draft. Norm played 18 years of professional hockey with stops in the NHL, AHL, IHL, KHL, and German leagues. Norm won a IHL Turner Cup as well as an AHL Calder Cup but perhaps next of his most memorable highlights would be winning the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings. Norm unfortunately did not get his name on the Cup because of the rules around games played but his contribution was recognized by the Red Wings with a Stanley Cup Ring. Norm had a 2-0-1 record during that start with the Red Wings leading up to the cup run.
Justin Shakell – Football
Justin Shakell was a Defensive End standout over his career for the Laurier Golden Hawks of CIAU Football, Justin was a two time team MVP, two time OUA all star, Nominated as All Canadian in 2003 and an inductee into the Laurier University Hall of Fame. Justin has extended his legacy as a football coach at local high schools, Eastside (Moira) and St. Theresa making a difference in the lives of local young athletes. Justin was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the CFL and currently coaches with the Quinte Skyhawks.
Chris Brant – Hockey
Everyone knew Chris Brant was going to play hockey professionally. He was too good an athlete from such an early age that you could not deny he was going to play somewhere. Hockey was not the only sport Chris excelled at. He was a big part of the Napanee Midget Fastball team that won the Canadian Championships in the early eighties. Hockey was his passion and it took him to some distant places. After a successful OHL career playing for Sault Ste. Marie and Kingston, Chris was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the 7th round #133 in 1985. Chris then began a professional career that spanned over 17 years, 12 teams, in four countries. Stops in the AHL and IHL led to a long career in Europe playing in Holland, Germany and the U.K. highlighted by playing for the Netherlands National Team during his time overseas.
Ben Green – Lacrosse
Ben Green grew up playing lacrosse in Tyendinaga and Kingston. Son of Jack Green, who was a pretty good athlete in his own right, was drafted first round from Tyendinaga Midgets by Peterborough Jr. A Lakers. Ben played Jr. B with the Orilla Kings who won the Ontario and Canadian Champions 1995. Ben later played Jr A with the storied Peterborough Lakers franchise and then moved on to the Orrilla franchise when they moved into the Jr A ranks. Ben went on to star with the Iroquois Nationals Junior B with his brother Jeremy Green and won silver medals at the Canadian Championship. Ben was also drafted first round, second overall in Major Series Lacrosse by the Brooklin Redmen, another franchise with a prolific history. Ben played in the Quebec Senior league winning several Quebec championships and league scoring titles over his tenure there.
Ben Maracle – Football
The Dereonto native has made a mark in USports (CIAU) football since graduating from the Kingston Grenadiers program and joining the Ottawa U Gee Gee’s. With the past year getting derailed with the pandemic, expectations are high for the traditionally strong university team.
Ben has a quiet confidence as quarterback for the Gee Gee’s that was fostered with his work with Justin Shakell and former Queens player Warren Goldie. Coming in as a freshman in 2019 Ben was thrust into the limelight with the injury of the starting quarterback. Ben excelled with his opportunity that was given and hopes to build on that experience as the season kicks off again this fall.
Kendall Tabobandung – Women’s Lacrosse
Kendall Tabobandung garnered a lacrosse scholarship at the perennial NCAA Division 1 contender Wagner College which is on Staten Island in New York. Kendall was a multi-sport athlete playing hockey and many school sports but began to focus on lacrosse as she got into high school. Playing box and field with the boys teams gave her incredible stick skills that allow her to be a dominant player in the women’s game. Her highlight thus far has been playing for Team Haudenosaunee.
Jeff VanHooser / GW “Bubs” VanHooser – Fastball Pitcher
Jeff Vanhooser is the nephew of GW “Bubs” VanHooser who dominated area ball diamonds in the 60’s and 70’s. Bubs was inducted into the Kingston and District Hall of Fame in 2013 and passed away in 2020 at the age of 79. A prolific pitcher with an unusual windup was legendary in multiple local and regional leagues.
Nephews Jeff and Barry were mentored by Bubs who was truly a father figure for them. Jeff and Barry continued the tradition of being dominant fastball pitchers having tremendous success locally and internationally. Jeff in particular distinguished himself as a Canadian Midget Fastball Champion and then followed that up with stints in the IFC (The Pinnacle of World Championship Fastball) in Ashland, Ohio and was an Ontario Native Fastball Champion with Tyendinaga in 1992 and 94. In 1995 Jeff was a Silver medalist at the North American Indigenous Games.
OHL Hockey Players of Note
The Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has a rich history of producing some talented hockey players over the years. There are far too many to name here but a few should be mentioned.
- John (Jack) Green Guelph Biltmores 1949-50
- D.J. Maracle London Knights, Owen Sound, Kingston Frontenacs
- Matt Barnhardt Sudbury Wolves
- Ian “Fish” Maracle Mississauga
- Players and People to Watch:
- Reese Nugent Team Iroquois Lacrosse
- Kaya Maracle Team Haudenosaunee Lacrosse
- Blake Maracle Team Iroquois Lacrosse, Kingston Frontenacs AAA hockey
- Otsirakatste Brant Quinte Red Devils AAA
- Anerahtine Green Brantford 99 AAA – Father Jeremy Green
As stated from the beginning, this is a small snapshot of the rich athletic history of the Tyendinaga Mohawks. We honour the past and salute the future with this small overview of the local athletes making a name for themselves currently or those who have left their mark on the local sports scene.
Total Sports is eager to cover more of these stories. If you have more information or content to submit please contact us at
BOQTotalsports@gmail.com We want to hear and hope to publish your stories.