Nakeie Montgomery

How Nakeie Montgomery kept vibes high when goals were low 

By Jerome Taylor

Aug 25, 2023

For Nakeie Montgomery, this season has been a series of trials.

Trials taking wings on faceoffs, trials as an SSDM, trials as a traditional 2-way middle. 

The reason the second-year midfielder can be trotted out in so many roles is because not only does he have the athleticism to do it, but also the skill. 

Yet before the matchup against Chrome, that skill hadn’t shown up in the box score. Through 8 games, he was 0-25 shooting with five assists. 

The Dallas native had come close to his first goal in the rematch against the Cannons in Denver, with him getting the Kobe assist on one of Wes Berg’s highlight-reel goals.

“Mom wishes it was my goal,” Montgomery said with a laugh. “I know I was taking good shots, they just weren't falling.”

So in the first quarter of last week’s game, when Montgomery pushed upfield before stopping, rolling, and finishing for the ‘Woods’ first goal of the day, let’s just say the excitement was understandable. 

But it was also understated compared to the celly after his first 2-pointer of the year, which came later in the game. 

“Those were major let’s go [moments],”  Montgomery said about the celebrations. “I just wanted to have that feeling of impacting the game in the way I know I can… just wanted to help us win.” 

Montgomery finished the day with 3 points (one 1-point goal and one 2-point goal) and a caused turnover. 

Nakie Montgomery’s Infectious Energy 

Despite all the trials and troubles with production this season, his vibes were never low, which rubbed off on his teammates. 

“He’s just perpetually positive, he’s someone I love to hang around with… his energy is infectious,” Ryder Garnsey said. “He’s hyping everybody up. There’s a picture where he’s 3 feet in the air where you think he just scored, and he’s just celebrating someone else’s goal.” 

Montgomery’s been able to keep his energy up, even if his numbers weren’t, by keeping things in perspective.

“A bad day for me or a bad lacrosse game, it’s not a bad life. I know it’s all good,”  Montgomery said. “I try to be conscious of the energy I give. I want to give those guys positive energy, give them positive waves. It means a lot to me.”

Another way Montgomery kept his vibes up is through his playlist, which currently contains a good dose of Big Tymers. 

For the uninitiated, the Big Tymers were an early 2000s hip-hop duo comprised of Birdman and Mannie Fresh. If you’re ever at a PLL game in person, you’ll sometimes hear a rendition of their hit single “Get Your Roll On” mashed with an uptempo electronic song when the Redwoods are introduced. 

In that vein, despite his scoring drought, Montgomery was Still Fly off the field, and that's one way he stayed connected with the team during his offensive drought. 

“I try to pick his brain about things I should be wearing. I feel like he’s got better style than me,” Garnsey said. “I have 70 pairs of shoes, but I don’t have any of the ‘damn you can't get those anywhere,’ he has those.”

“Ryder‘s just cool as hell. He’ll be rocking something, and I’ll be like, ‘I never thought to put that with that,’” Montgomery said. “Ryder’s a cool dude, I’m a cool dude. We talk about some swag, how to upkeep, level up.”

The exclusive shoe currently in Montgomery’s rotation is the Travis Scott x Jordan 1s in the Black Phantom colorway, which have enough white trim around them not to give off any of the infamous black Air Force One energy.

Outside of bonding with his teammates over fashion, Montgomery mentioned that trust was the main thing to keep him going during his cold spell. 

Trust from his teammates,  trust from his coaches, and trust in himself helped keep him on track when things weren’t going as planned.

“It’s not always easy. I’m not having the season I want to be having, but it’s so fun playing with all the guys,” Montgomery said.  “And that’s a credit to them because they’re so fun to be around, and I want to do whatever I can for them.”

This season that’s meant playing multiple roles as a middie, but if last week's performance hints at what’s to come, then the Redwoods have another midfielder coming into form at the perfect time, with playoffs starting September 4th.

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