Knighthawks-Coached Bantams Win GoldAugust 28, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) Rochester Knighthawks
In the title game, Six Nations defeated Burlington 10-2 to clinch the Bantam "A" Provincials. It was a great way to conclude the tournament, as Six Nations played its most dominating game in the Finals. The win helped Six Nations improve to 5-5-1 against Burlington this summer.
"We saved our best game for last," said Johnson, as the Six Nations team finished the tournament with a 4-2 record. "It was a great way to end the season because it was so up and down. We knew what they were capable of doing and they showed it in the last game."
"We played an awesome game," added Styres, who took over the team with Johnson and Green at the beginning of the year. The gold was the team's third of the summer.
The bantams opened the OLA Final Six "A" Provincials with an impressive 10-3 victory over Whitby. They followed that up with a tightly-fought 5-4 win over St. Catharines. In the nightcap, Six Nations dropped an 8-3 decision to the host team from Guelph coached by Knighthawks Ontario scout and 19-year NLL pro Chris Driscoll.
On the second day of the Provincials, Six Nations opened with a 7-2 victory over Clarington, setting up a first-place contest against rival Burlington. With the winner guaranteed a spot in the Gold Medal Game, Burlington edged Six Nations 5-3. Despite the loss, Six Nations advanced to the Finals after Whitby lost to St. Catharines. So for the 11th time this summer it was Burlington and Six Nations.
In the Finals on Sunday, Six Nations did not wait long to take control of the game as it opened the first period with a 7-0 lead. Soon they were up 8-1 in the second en route to a convincing 10-2 victory. In goal, Briley Miller earned the win. Throughout the three-day event, he teamed up with Daniel Hill to give his team two solid stoppers in goal. Travis Longboat was also solid at both ends of the floor and on special teams.
"The boys came out and were ready to play. We moved the ball well and were taking good shots," he said. "The defense played really well and our goalie made some good saves when he had to."
Austin Staats and Tehoka Nanticoke Hill were the offensive stars with three goals apiece, while Jeremy Bomberry and Chayton King chipped in single goals. With his offensive skills, it's no surprise that Staats is the cousin of 2012 Champion's Cup MVP Cody Jamieson of the Rochester Knighthawks. Austin wears No. 88 as a tribute to "Jammer" and his brother Randy Staats. The 14-year-old Staats could not have imagined a better ending to the Provinicals.
"It was a great feeling to win my first Championship and first MVP award," he said. "It was a dream come true."
"Austin will be a superstar when he gets older. He is already doing things that the pros do," added Jamieson. "As long as he wants it bad enough, he could be one of the next great players not only on this Reserve, but in the world."
Jamieson was one of several Knighthawks who worked with the kids throughout the season at the request of Styres. Knighthawks Team Captain Pat McCready, Alex "Kedoh" Hill, Sid Smith and Johnny Powless also spent time at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena working with the bantam team.
"It was a lot of fun hanging out with this bunch," said Jamieson. "Their passion for the game and to get better is a trait that made them as successful as they were."
Having the Knighthawks players interact with the bantams was an opportunity not only to unite the two generations, but also a chance for the pros to work with their younger family members. Jamieson worked with two of his cousins in Staats and Wake:Riat "Bow" BowHunter. Knighthawk Johnny Powless tutored his brother Sidney, who also got pointers from his cousin Alex "Kedoh" Hill.
"I am very proud of him and the rest of the team," said Johnny about his 14-year-old brother Sidney.
It was a great season for the Powless family with three of the four boys winning Championships. His oldest brother Marshall also won a Pee Wee Championship out in Calgary. Johnny was also the winner of the 2012 NLL Sportsmanship Award, the youngest player in the 2012 NLL All-Star Game, and a member of the NLL All-Rookie Team.
"It was a good year of lacrosse from my whole family and hopefully many more championships come our way," said Johnny Powless, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
On Sunday, the Six Nations bantams played up to the standards set by the former Six Nations stars and current Rochester Knighthawks. According to Staats, having the Knighthawks players at their practices was the extra push they needed to win the gold.
"It was a great because they know the game. That's how were able to get to the Championship Game by learning from those guys," said Staats.
"It's nice to see them excel at the sport," added Hill, who was recently named the Major Series Lacrosse Rookie of the Year Award, and won the Champion's Cup in his first season with the Knighthawks. "Curt had me teach them why I knew about the game. It's a pleasure to work with kids at that age. I was glad that I was able to help them."
The team will get a week off before moving into the field game. It's a well-deserved rest for the 2012 OLA Final Six "A" Provincials Champions after a fantastic end to the indoor season.
"All the work they did and the sacrifices they made really showed," said Green, who trained the kids for two hours a day this summer. "The end result was a Championship."
Six Nations Bantam "A" Provincial Champions Roster
00 - Daniel Hill
29 - Briley Miller
04 - Levi Anderson
07 - Jeremy Bomberry
11 - Tehoka Nanticoke-Hill
12 - Justin Martin
14 - Austin Skye
16 - Daylen Hill
17 - Travis Longboat
18 - Cecil Monture
21 - Gavin Skye
28 - Wake:Riat "Bow" BowHunter
43 - Sidney Powless
44 - Chayton King
55 - Sam Green
66 - Hunter Sibbick
77 - Jerry Staats
85 - Marty Bomberry-Burning
88 - Austin Staats
97 - Gutch Salinas
National Lacrosse League Stories from August 28, 2012
- Knighthawks-Coached Bantams Win Gold - Rochester Knighthawks
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