SIX NATIONS — The OLA recently granted a new sector of lacrosse dubbed Senior ‘C,’ open for application as they seek 12 teams to fill the league.
It wasn’t long until Jay Smith, a well-known lacrosse coach and player, decided to sign up a community based team.
“Originally we were forming the Tomahawks just to be a tournament team. But with this new league starting and a lot of our players still needing a place to play, I thought ‘well why not?’’ said Smith.
He explained that the OLA holds roughly 80 teams that are junior age while senior teams count to only 14 teams. This means that graduating players from the junior age-range have less choice in where they play, thus, the new league will offer a new place to enjoy the game.
“Locally we have the Chiefs and the Rivermen, and everybody knows that those rosters are hard to crack for the guys that can’t commit because they have work or school,” he said, as practice and game scheduling is both time and resource consuming. “They are the guys that still want to play competitively, but they have no place to go really.”
Smith said that he believes that the Tomahawks and the league itself are “a perfect place for the working man,” because the league format is similar to masters lacrosse whereby practices run once a week and games run tournament style. Which means that the commitment level is smaller and perfect for those looking to play while still focusing on work, school or family.
“There has been a lot of interest,” he said, saying that many veteran players have come to check out the try outs. “The tournaments will start in May and probably go through June and July, and hopefully the championship weekend will be sometime in August.”
Although founding the team, Smith explained that the Tomahawks will be a community based team without private ownership, and will continue to look for bench staff as well as executive support.
As Six Nations boasts some of the most exemplary lacrosse talent in the country, Smith explained that putting the team together is a labour of giving back.
“For me this is my way of giving back to the lacrosse community and our community as a whole,” he said. “I’ve been given the opportunity to help with our minor program for so long and I’ve seen a lot of players come through this minor system and go on to have very good junior careers and some of them are senior age, where they’re playing pros or MSL, while others are going in other directions. So hopefully this is my contribution to the community by giving some of those guys more opportunity to play.”
The first league meeting will be on March 2 and Smith said that more teams will be welcome to apply. The final roster as well, will be open for change until the middle of May.
If you’d like to get in contact with Smith with inquiries or to offer bench or position help, he is available on Facebook Messenger at Jay Smith and the Facebook group at Six Nations Tomahawks Senior Lacrosse Club.