Six Nations Chiefs full of home- grown talent

The Six Nations Chiefs pride themselves on building a roster full of electrifying home- grown talent.

Prominent Six Nations stars such as veteran Cody Jamieson, Randy Staats, Brendan Bomberry, Tyson Bomberry and goalie Doug Jamieson have for years entertained fans with their dominant play.

Coming off a solid 2019 regular season, the Chiefs ultimate quest to bring home the Mann Cup fell short. They got off to a solid start as they began playoffs by defeating the Oakville Rock in five of what was a best of seven format, before falling in the MSL league finals against the Peterborough Lakers.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out this year’s campaign, Chiefs General Manager Duane Jacobs was highly optimistic as he reflected on what fans could expected from this year’s team.

“This was the year where we looked like we were going to be almost primarily a hometown team and that’s where I see our strength. That’s where our pride comes in with guys playing for their community in front of their friends and family.” Jacobs also went on to say

“I think the Chiefs would have been a lot similar to last year. You would have seen additions like Tehoka Nanticoke, Liam Leclair and possibly Austin Staats. Arguably three of the best graduating juniors in the country. You would have seen the addition of Ty Logan who won a spot with the New England Black Wolves and toiled with Ottawa in the Quebec league. There were a few more local kids who were going to be given a look.”

This storied franchise, who have won a total of six Mann Cup titles, were preparing for quite the transition this year as former player Rich Kilgour stepped down after a successful nine- year coaching sting with the Chiefs.

Kilgour, who is from a small reserve of Tuscarora, played a pivotal role along with brother Darris in helping the Chiefs make some lacrosse history by becoming a dynasty in winning three straight Mann Cup Championships from 1994-’96.

Eventually Kilgour became the Chiefs head coach where he was successful in guiding them to success as they were simply dominant in wining the Mann Cup trophy in 2013, 2014 in Six Nations and again in 2016.

“Losing Rich is a tremendous loss when you have a guy who commits to your summer program and takes time away from his family and work for nine years,” Jacobs said.

“That person is hard to replace and so we were taking our time. I think there’s an adjustment period for our team to go through before bringing someone to replace an icon like Rich Kilgour and that’s also the respect I have for him.”

During his tenure as coach, Kilgour also led the Chiefs to six Major Series Lacrosse finals, and leaves as the all- time winningest coach in franchise history.

“I’ve been doing it for nine years,” Kilgour said. “I’ve coached a lot of the same guys during that time and I think they’ve heard everything that I could say. All good things come to an end. I appreciate everything the Chiefs, Dewey, and Kenny Hill have done for me and this team. I loved it, and that’s why I did it for so long.”

Seventeen years after helping Six Nations win the 1996 Mann Cup, Kilgour won another championship only this time as a coach. After leading the 2013 Chiefs to a 16-3-1 first place finish, the Chiefs couldn’t be stopped as they went undefeated in post season play by posting series sweeps against the KW Kodiaks and Brooklin Redmen to win the Major Series Lacrosse League Championship and qualify for Mann Cup play.

Engaged in what was a real momentum swinging series, the Chiefs were led by series MVP Cody Jamieson, as they defeated the Victoria Shamrocks in six games to take home the Mann Cup.

The following season, Kilgour was once again money behind the bench as he led the Chiefs to another league championship followed by a second straight Mann Cup win against Victoria. What made this six- game series so special, was that the Chiefs were able to win this prestigious championship in front of fans and family at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.

Two years later, Six Nations fans proudly witnessed their team recapture the Mann Cup as this time they defeated the Maple Ridge Burrards in five games of what was another seven- game series.

In the three years since that last championship, Six Nations have on two occasions made it to the league finals, including last year but were eliminated.

After Kilgour decided to step down last year, Jacobs wasn’t in any hurry to immediately hire a coach.

“I think I was prepared to step behind the bench this summer and perhaps bring someone into the staff and see how that went,” Jacobs said. “We still had a very capable staff with JT and Tim Bomberry still in the fold. Moving forward we want a progressive coach who can communicate with our group and who can get the most out of them.”

Reflecting on what could have been if there was a season this year, Jacobs also went on to add.

“I think we were fairly confident in our team. It’s never easy to win a championship but with our group, the additions to our existing group, we have a team capable of winning multiple championships once more.”

Hearing that is sweet music to the loyal Six Nations Chiefs fanbase.

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