By Dan Ninham
Chaske and Cuauhtli Comes Flying are in the ninth grade at Prior Lake High School. The twin brothers are Crow Creek Dakota and play Bantam B1 Hockey. They also have more things in common.
They are members of the first Bantam team to win a state championship in Prior Lake Savage Hockey Association (PLSHA) history. The team had a 51-4-3 record.
The brothers both scored 25 goals that was two games short of 60 for the long season. Chaske had 49 assists for 74 points and Cuauhtli had 26 assists for 51 points.
The team were runner-up in the District 6 playoffs, and placed first in the South Regions playoffs on their way to the State Championship Bantam B1 tournament.
The twin brothers earned individual as well as team accomplishments. Chaske won a “Playmaker” badge for setting up the most plays all season and Cuauhtli shared the “Hat Trick” badge with a teammate for having three or more hat tricks during the season.
The twin brothers’ dad is Antony Stately, Oneida and Ojibwe. Dad has the responsibility to teach his sons their native core values that exist on and off the ice.
Chaske talked first about his role model Dad: “My dad is always saying, ‘your most important job is to be a good relative to everyone.’ As a young Dakota man, being a good relative is important to me. I try to remember this when I practice and compete. I prioritize setting up my teammates for success over my own individual success. We win together as a team, and we grow together from our mistakes and losses.”
Cuauhtli added similar thoughts: “I try to be a good teammate, and help everyone on the team out. It’s my way of being a good relative to everyone. And I work hard and push through, and I don’t give up when things get hard.”
The twins have native role model hockey athletes they admire. Chaske said: “I look up to Jayson Shaugabay. He really inspires me because he is Native and he is an amazing player. Like me, he passes the puck a lot and makes plays, and he is a leader.” See Jayson Shaugabay’s story at: https://thecirclenews.org/profiles-native-americans-in-sports/jayson-shaugabay-warroad-warrior-hockey-player-is-1st-round-draft-pick
Cuauhtli talked about his positive role models: “I want to be like Daimon Gardner when I get older, because he’s a really good player and he never gives up! Matt Dumba inspires me because he is a great player, and he supports getting more native kids and kids of color getting into hockey. He helps me to imagine being a professional player someday.” See Daimon Gardner’s story at: https://thecirclenews.org/profiles-native-americans-in-sports/gardner-comes-full-circle-back-to-warroad-hs-warriors-hockey
Chaske talked about his positive mentors that are also his coaches. He said: “I look up to my head coach, Brian George. He pushes me every day to be a better hockey player, and he treats us with respect. Assistant Coach John Tushie wouldn’t just point out my mistakes, he would also help me correct them and improve my game.”
“When I was evaluating the players during the first month of the season I noticed they possessed great hockey sense, a hard work ethic, and a level of competitiveness that can’t be taught,” said Head Coach Brian George. “I always heard that twins have an understanding between them that is hard to comprehend but I had the pleasure of seeing it live game after game. Their offensive creativity and hockey sense is something special to watch between each other.”
Losing early in the tournament made the team hungry to compete to come back to win the championship.
“When we lost the District 6 Championship against Chaska-Chanhassen, we lost our first game against them and then had to come up through the loser’s bracket to get into the championship game,” said Chaske. “And we lost against them in the final minutes of the third period. After that I felt defeated and started to doubt my and the team’s ability.”
Chaske talked for both him and his brother about off-season conditioning and performance camps. He said: “We’re going to do some off-season hockey performance camps, and we’re going to hit the gym and workout, focusing on some strength and endurance training so that we can be in our best shape for the fall. We are looking forward to trying out for a spot on the high school hockey team next year!”