SIX NATIONS – There’s no lacrosse like lacrosse in season.
As Minor Lacrosse Teams fill the ILA, preparing for seasonal games and tournaments soon to start – a team working together and growing together is something special saved solely for coaches, family and fans to see.
From paperweight to intermediate, Six Nations Minor Lacrosse has carried faces entering or playing in the NLL such as Johnny Powless, Wenster Green, Don Alton and Haodais Maracle, who have turned their experience to coaching.
“Sometimes I like coaching better than playing, because it gives kind of the same feeling,” said Powless, who is serving as the Midget 1 head coach. “I’m pretty excited and kind of just waiting for the season to start,” he said. “I think it’s fun with the kids because you build a bond and you see these guys playing junior or whatever so you feel pretty proud of yourself and really happy for them,” he said.
Alongside Powless as Assistant Captain is Green, who is also on the practice roster for the former Minnesota, now Georgia Swarm.
“I coached last year, me, Johnny and Donny did. But this year we have Haodais Maracle as well,” said Green. “This year as coaches I think we’ve matured a bit and I think there’s a few things that we learned throughout the course of last year that is going to help us out this year in translating our strategy and such,” he said, explaining that the Midget 1’s qualified for provincials last year.
In regards to how he feels about being able to give back to the community through coaching, Green agreed that “it’s a great feeling”.
“We get to teach the [players] as they progress,” said Green. “It’s very fortunate to have this opportunity and I think that it’s going to be good not only just for the kids, but for the community to have that kind of culture within the minor systems,” he said.
Soon to play for the Brampton Senior ‘A’, Don Alton has played in the SNMLA starting in Bantam division, and is now helping to coach as well.
“They’re a great bunch of guys, I mean I’ve played with Johnny, Wenster and ‘Dice’ when I was younger and they were all really welcoming and I got to see what good coaching can do to somebody,” he said.
In regards to their methods of coaching, Alton explained that age and size in Minor Lacrosse does matter.
“I think this is a very tender group because when they’re 15 or 16 years old, I think it’s vital that they be taught how to be smart. Especially when they’re making the jump to junior lacrosse and they’re playing against 22 year old’s,” he said. “They would just kind of have to learn on the spot, whereas now we kind ourselves situated now so that when we see them in two or three years they don’t have any problems dealing with someone who has six inches on them and is much bigger than them,” he said.
Alton also explained the coaching ethic is something that isn’t just focused on the coaches alone.
“We want to teach them first – and if they have questions they can also come to us – but we also want them to be able to be taught by their teammates as well,” said Alton.
It’s safe to say that the Six Nations community has developed a system whereby the successful teach the talented and this system guarantees more lacrosse talent from the SNMLA to shine in the future.