When you mention Syracuse sports, most people instantly think Syracuse men's basketball and the newly retired coach Jim Boeheim. If you've been a fan of the Cuse for a long time, you might recall the Syracuse football glory years and Jim Brown, head coach Dick MacPherson or Donavan McNabb.

98.1 The Hawk logo
Get our free mobile app

If you're a newer Orange fan, you might say men's soccer. They won their first national championship last year and they are ranked #1 in this year's preseason poll. Those three sports might be the first to come to mind but none of them have had more success then the Syracuse men's lacrosse program with their 15 national titles.

Did you know that lacrosse is the oldest sport in the United States? Did you know that it got its start in New York State? Well it's true. Long before Syracuse University dominated the sport, it was a tradition among the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois people.

The Origins of Lacrosse

They lived in the areas of what is now called New York. It was called "Baggataway" or "Tewaaraton" in the beginning. In fact, the Tewaaraton Award is given to the most outstanding college lacrosse men's and women's player. It's the lacrosse equivalent of football's Heisman Trophy.

It was a battle of skill, strategy and was a way to settle disputes amongst other things. The matches were intense with large crowds gathering to watch the event. By the late 19th century, non-native settlers became interested in the game too.

Troy (a suburb of Albany) is where the very first organized lacrosse club was formed when the Mohawk Lacrosse formed in the late 1800s. Today lacrosse has gained recognition at every level including high school, college and professional levels.

What began as stickball as turned into international sport called lacrosse. The Syracuse men's lacrosse team may have struggled last year but they have given us years of excellence and we have no reason to believe that they won't be back next season.

WOW! Did You Know This? The 20 Most Iconic Athletes Born in Upstate New York

If you think upstate New York isn't a premier sports location, you're wrong, There have been many athletes born in the region -- many of which are legends in their respective sports.

Road Trip! Sports Halls of Fame and Museums Are Everywhere in Upstate New York

Warm weather means road trips. And there is no better road trip in Upstate New York than to visit the many sports halls of fame and museums in the region. From the Hudson Valley to Western New York you will find museums and halls of fame dedicated to boxing, horse racing, baseball, stock car racing, fly fishing, and many other sports. Here are 8 of the best in Upstate New York.

More From 98.1 The Hawk