Northern Lights Lacrosse Festival kicked off in memory of Archer Amorosi

Updated: August 24, 2019 10:26 PM

More than 150 young athletes took the field in Shorewood for the first ever Northern Lights Lacrosse Festival Saturday.

The event is in memory of 16-year-old Archer Amorosi, who was shot and killed in a confrontation with Carver County deputies during what appeared to be a mental health crisis about a year ago.


Archer played lacrosse in Minnetonka. His family said hosting a full-day sporting event like this seemed like a fitting way to shed light on an important topic.

"Kids are working so hard and they don't always know how to deal with it, so they stuff it in," said Archer's sister Avery.

The Amorosi family told 5 EYEWITNESS News, behind Archer's bright smile, the popular athlete dealt with serious anxiety. They know other kids may be suffering too so their hope is to open up the conversation surrounding mental health. Specifically, they want to help break some of the stigma with teen athletes.

Archer Amorosi's father speaks out for change at city council meeting

"The reason we focus on athletes, I think a lot of times athletes put up a big facade and try to always be the leaders," said Archer's sister, Addison. "They don't allow other people to see how they're really feeling."

Addison and her father Don started a nonprofit in Archer's memory called Archer's Aim, which will support causes related to teen mental health.

One of the goals is to open the eyes of coaches and parents to recognize when something may not be right with a student-athlete. 

"It's important to learn to recognize those signs," said Archer's mother, Kara. "Because your kids aren't always going to come to you to talk about these things. They're not."

The Northern Lights Lacrosse Festival features 12 hours of fun and games in memory of Archer, who played as #12 on his lacrosse team. But in the midst of the lacrosse games, flag football and dunk tanks, coordinators tried to share important messages about mental health with young athletes.

Archer Amorosi OIS

"We learned not to be afraid to speak out your emotions, don't always try to bottle them up," said 11-year-old Daxton Hurt.

"I think many people should support this cause," added 12-year-old Matt Gibney.

The Amorosi family said the money raised through the event will go to programs and scholarships supported by Archer's Aim. They expect to raise about $30,000.

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Alex Jokich

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