SIX NATIONS – Yet another Six Nations lacrosse legend is being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Six Nations artist and former Elected Chief Dave General is being recognized in the Builders category for being at the helm of National and Provincial Championship teams all the way from Peewee to the Mann Cup
SIX NATIONS – Yet another Six Nations lacrosse legend is being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Six Nations artist and former Elected Chief Dave General is being recognized in the Builders category for being at the helm of National and Provincial Championship teams all the way from Peewee to the Mann Cup three-peating Major Series Chiefs of the early 1990’s, coaching hundreds of Six Nations kids, some of them all that way throughout his 16 years as a successful lacrosse coach.
“I got involved with lacrosse in the early 1980’s” recalls General, “That first year we took a young team to the Peewee Nationals in Burnaby B.C. and won a Bronze Medal.”
His young team became the toast of the town while they were out there. General remembers tournament organizers telling him that people were calling the arena asking when the little Indian boys were playing.
“These guys had amazing stick skills and a good sense of the game, but lacked conditioning and discipline as a team,” he says.
The next year they worked on those things and in 1983 General took the Peewees to a Peewee “A” Provincial title.
In 1985 he moved up the ranks with his young prodigies to coach the Six Nations Bantam A’s to the National title, played that year in Kitchener. Then came a Midget Provincial “A” Championship in 1987 with many of the same players.
“Once a player graduates from Midget, they usually go into Intermediate or Jr., but here at Six Nations, there wasn’t a strong intermediate team or a Jr. A team. A bunch of us left the territory and joined what they called the Bay Area, which was a combination of the Hamilton and Burlington Minor Lacrosse organizations to play Jr. A,” General recalls.
Meanwhile fellow Hall of Famer Cap Bomberry and others were working hard to establish a Six Nations A caliber team, and in 1990, the Six Nations Arrows franchise was born, and General along with some of the Six Nations A caliber players returned to Six Nations to be a part of that organization.
That first year was not a great success on the floor, but it was instrumental in setting down roots for lacrosse at a higher level of the game.
“In 1991, we made the playoffs,” says General. “We played against a formidable St. Catharines team, and played our best but did not win the Eastern title that year.”
General was named OLA Jr. A Coach of the year in 1990 and 1991, and in 1992 he coached the Six Nations Arrows to their first Minto Cup National Championship as the best Jr. “A” lacrosse team in Canada, and probably the world.
The Arrows finished in second place in 1992, and with 12 veterans on the team, came back from a tough 3-1 semi-final series deficit against Brampton to win the Eastern title. They then went to Coquitlam for the Minto Cup, in a series General calls as “an eye-opener” referring to the ill treatment he felt his team and his players suffered with the refereeing in B.C., which was different from the East.
The Minto series went to Game #7 after several close games.
“Our guys played amazing,” General still beams. “Everything we had been working on, all came together that night.”
After following and shaping the career of many future NLL stars since peewee, it saddened him that there was nowhere at the time for a Six Nations lacrosse play to go after his Jr. eligibility expired, except off-reserve.
“We were fortunate enough to have the late Earl Hill excited about the Arrows and he set out to establish the Major Series Sr. A Chiefs,” says General.
The first two seasons, the fledgling Chiefs never made the playoffs, but in 1994, General was a part of the coaching staff of the resurging Six Nations Chiefs along with the late Les Wakeling. General was offensive coach of the three-peating Mann Cup Champion dynasty in 1994, 1995 and 1996.
In 2001 General was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Builders category, and in 2008 he was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame along with the 1994, ‘95, and ’96 Six Nations Chiefs.
He will be officially inducted in November at the brand new Hall of Fame building in New Westminster B.C.