Chippawa’s latest world champion
This past November, the 14-year-old Chippawa resident was a member of Team Haudenshaunee that won a gold medal at the under-15 world indoor lacrosse championships in Messina, N.Y.
As the youngest player on the team, Joaquin was a healthy scratch in one game during the tournament but was playing a regular shift by the end of the tournament. He had a goal and four assists in a 16-8 win in the final over an American team loaded with prep schools players from across the country.
He received a championship ring for his effort plus plenty of lifelong memories.
His highlight from the tournament were the warmups.
“They were like professional warmups. They lasted 30 minutes and started with gear off then gear on. I love warmups.”
He also learned a bit about his heritage playing with his Haudenshaunee teammates from across North America.
“I really enjoyed playing with them and I think it will help my game a lot.”
Joaquin has a Metis status card from his mother and grandmother and was invited in the summer to try out for Team Haudenshaunee. Tryouts for the team were held in Canada and the United States and from there a squad was selected.
Even with the COVID pandemic over the past two years, he has been able to maintain his lacrosse activities.
“He hasn’t missed a beat because of my cousin’s (Dylan Gatt’s) program in Louisville,” his father, Nathan Gatt, said. “He has playing box and field lacrosse for the last two years while kids in Ontario have been doing nothing.”
Suiting up with L4 Lacrosse in Louisville. Joaquin has played on box and field all-star teams at tournaments at Notre Dame, Michigan and Illinois and he will be playing in a box lacrosse tournament in Ohio next weekend.
This past summer, he was on a St. Catharines under-15 field lacrosse team that went a perfect 15-0 and captured the provincial A under-15 field lacrosse title.
Joaquin started playing lacrosse in the Welland house league when he was four and this fall he started his freshman year with St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo. He was able to make the prep school’s varsity field lacrosse team as a freshman and also plays hockey.
“I like meeting new friends and people and I enjoy the education, the lacrosse and all the different sports,” he said.
He is hoping to play field lacrosse in the NCAA and follow that up with a pro career in box lacrosse.
“I am Inspired by my older brother, Mavryck, who is an NCAA lacrosse player recovering from a broken back. He motivates me to be the best 2007 in the world.”
Joaquin also credits this dad for his lacrosse successes.
“He drives and flies me all over North America to compete and train with some of the best programs and teams in America.”
Joaquin’s impressive lacrosse resume includes: two provincial field lacrosse titles and one in box lacrosse; a second-place finish at the box provincials; being named a First Team All Star in a provincial A final; and, seven USBOXLA gold medals.
His coaches have included Steve Toll, Mike Lines, Shawn Williams, Dan Pilon and Mike Mooradian. Peter Hudeki is his coach at St. Joe’s.