Stealth Becomes First NLL Team to Receive Congressional Recognition

Jay Inslee, the Representative from Washington’s 1st Congressional District, sponsored House Resolution 1546 and it was introduced on July 21, 2010.  From there, the resolution was referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, which recommended it be considered by the House as a whole on July 28, 2010.  Today, the House passed the resolution. “I’ve seen the Stealth play and seen firsthand the inspiration the players have on kids in my community,” said Rep. Inslee.  “These athletes don’t get paid millions of dollars, but they play with all the spirit and heart of world class competitors.  They demonstrate to kids what it means to play for the love of the game as well as the rewards that can only be found working as part of a team.

“The Stealth is also a small business in my region that has become a rallying point for the community,” he continued.  “The players and staff strive to involve people of all ages and have become an organization not satisfied to simply serve a consumer demand, but to become part of the community itself.”

The Stealth, in its first season playing at the Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash., won the NLL Championship with a 15-11 victory over the Toronto Rock.  Forward Lewis Ratcliff was named MVP of the Champion’s Cup final after leading the Stealth with five goals.  The win capped a fantastic 2010 season for the Stealth, as they earned the top overall seed in the NLL playoffs with an 11-5 record. 

In the resolution, the House of Representatives also recognized the efforts of several individuals within the Stealth organization.  Stealth President David Takata was named the NLL Executive of the Year in his first season as President.  Head Coach Chris Hall earned Co-Coach of the Year honors, while Ratcliff and fellow forward Rhys Duch were named NLL Second Team All-Pros.  Rookie defender Matt Beers was also honored as a member of the NLL All-Rookie Team.

“Winning the NLL Championship was a tremendous accomplishment for our organization,” said Stealth Owner Denise Watkins.  “We thank Rep. Jay Inslee for sponsoring this resolution, the 55 co-sponsors and the Congress of the United States for recognizing the lacrosse community.  Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport population in the nation and the Washington Stealth will use this increased visibility to continue to promote the positive role sports can play in strengthening communities and promoting healthy lifestyle for our nation’s youth”

The NLL will be entering its 25th season this January.  With ten teams throughout the U.S. and Canada, over one million fans enter NLL arenas each season.  “We are honored that Congress has formally recognized the National Lacrosse League Champions,” said NLL Commissioner George Daniel.  “The Washington Stealth had a tremendous championship season in 2010.  The great sports fans of the State of Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest can be proud of this team.”

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