SIX NATIONS – General managers and coaches took a closer look at some of their Jr. B hopefuls at the ILA during Saturday’s tournament which hosted teams from K-town, Point Edward, and Windsor, besides themselves.
The scores didn’t really matter much as each player on the floor was working to catch a coveted spot an a Jr. B roster for the 2014 season, which begins in earnest in April.
The Rebels will be looking for the quad this year after three-peating as Jr. B Founders Cup winners last season, and that is a very real possibility given the depth of the Six Nations lacrosse talent pool.
“At the end of the day, this could be our team,” said Rebels coach Murray Porter. “The Jr. A Arrows might keep between four and nine guys again this year and if they keep all nine, most of these guys will make this years Rebels team.”
The 2014 edition Rebels have been working hard at the ILA getting ready to assault the record book with their fourth national title in as many years.
“This gives the guys a chance to get some chemistry building and to have the guys work together,” said Porter. “It’s always good after practicing so long to get out there and play somebody that you don’t practice with. A pre-season tournament like this is refreshing for the players.”
As hard or as often as a team practices together, it’s nothing like game experience, Porter also a veteran Sr. player of some repute and a Rebels alumni.
“You can’t recreate game speed,” he says.
The Rebels have a lot of new faces coming up through the “lacrosse factory”, which is the Six Nations Minor Lacrosse system.
Six Nation Bantams and Midgets finished at the top of all-Ontario, and are the next wave of champions to be looking for OLA Jr. A or B positions.
“We’ve got some good young kids out there and a couple of new guys we have not seen before and they are really starting to shine,” he says.
As with most of the serious lacrosse teams Six Nations manages to put together every year, goaltending is never a problem. The Rebels still have four goaltenders vying for a spot on the roster, especially for what is becoming a legendary junior lacrosse franchise.
“Doug Jamieson, (who starred with the Rebels last season), looks like he’s going to sign with the Jr. A Arrows, so we have Chase Martin as our go to guy, with three others working for the second spot.
In net for the second half of the first game of the tournament against K-town was one goalie to take notice of. Riley Miller is 6’3” 250 lbs and he is only 14 years old. Some time with Rebels goaltending coach Derek General and he is destined for good things.
“He has a very bright future ahead of him, for sure,” says Porter.