SIX NATIONS – The Six Nations Rebels Jr. B’s were the first of four teams spread from BC to Halifax to have returned to Six Nations for an impromptu parade down Chiefswood Road escorted by Six Nations Firefighters, sirens whaling.
The Rebels, the Jr. A Arrows Express, the Sr. B Rivermen and the Major Series Chiefs have become much more than a sports story. The community at large is abuzz with excitement as Six Nations lacrosse stars are being recognized quite literally from coast to coast and bringing a sense of pride to the community at large.
Among those lining up along Chiefswood Road Monday to welcome home the triumphant Rebels was Virginia General. By her own admission she is a casual lacrosse fan. But she was loud and proud as the fire trucks carrying the Rebels players and the Founders Cup made their way past on their way to a rally and homecoming at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
“I came out to congratulate the boys,” she said. “I’ve never been involved with anything like this before. My kids and grandkids are all involved in lacrosse and they love it. I love it too but I’ve gone to a few games, but when the playoffs started, I started going to a lot more games. This is really great for the community. It’s great that these teams get the support they do.”
Goaltending coach and former NLL star Derek General was reunited with his two-year-old daughter Derellyn at the ILA and was very proud of his team’s efforts and accomplishments this year.
Murray Porter, head coach of the Rebels, is also a player with the Sr. B Rivermen, as is Rebels’ assistant coach Cory Bomberry. They flew into Toronto with the Rebels, took their luggage from one carousel and put it on another for their trip to the west coast meet up with their Rivermen teammates who are playing for the Sr. B Presidents Cup in Coquitlam B.C.
Travis Longboat is a Six Nations Midget player who made the trip with the Rebels and he represents the future stars of the Rebels or Arrows. He got an eye opener in Halifax about what it takes to win at this level of the game.
“The guys are a lot bigger at the Jr. level,” he quickly responded.
Longboat says that, “In Jr., he had to be faster, fearless and have more smarts, because of my smaller size.”
But he found a way to do all that and racked up some significant points nonetheless. He appeared in six Minto Cup games for the Rebels, contributing 10 goals and 18 assists in six games played.
Focus is another adjustment he had to make moving up to the Rebels at such a young age.
“Even in the 29-0 blow out against Quebec, we remained focused. It’s the Founders Cup,” he says. “We came to play.”
Dallas John’s left hand was much heavier than his right as he wore his past three Founders Cup Rings leaving one finger left to adorn with his 2014 Ring. Johns has been a member of the Rebels for all four Founders Cup Championships. He will be one of four players graduating into the Sr. ranks.
The success of the Six Nations Rebels organization over the past few years has made playing the Six Nations Rebels a matter of saving face with a good effort as opposed to winning.
Once past the OLA, the level of play in other provinces is not up to OLA standards at this time. But the Rebels have set the bar so very high, and as teams improve, the quality of Jr. B lacrosse will increase right across the country.
Members of the Rebels team and executive were honoured at Monday night’s Six Nations Chiefs game where they paraded the Founders Cup around the floor for the appreciative hometown fans.