OHSWEKEN— A new chapter is about to be written in the storied lacrosse coaching resume from Six Nations own Jay Smith.
After leading the Six Nations Intermediate 1 to a Provincial silver medal last summer, along with being the GM and assistant coach of the undefeated Senior Series provincial gold winning Six Nations Tomhawks, Smith will have another challenge this upcoming summer.
In a recent move the Junior ‘C’ Oakville Hawks announced that Smith will be this year’s head coach while serving as an assistant coach is another Six Nations product with an impressive track record in Justin Beach.
“I try to be as approachable as possible,” Smith said. “Tryouts (first of seven) start on February 16th for Junior ‘C’ and Junior ‘A’ together.”
Smith admits that this opportunity came when Beach approached him and let him know that the Junior ‘C’ Hawks were looking for a new coaching staff. Right away he sent them his resume, and as they say the rest is history. “I was made aware (of being hired) earlier than announced but I kept it under my hat for awhile until it was made official,” Smith said. “I was very happy to be recognized for my coaching abilities outside the community.”
When asked what kind of players he’s looking for Smith stated, “Players who are coachable and have a good grasp of the game at the junior level.”
He also went on to say, “I expect them to all be in good shape.” The Junior ‘C’ Hawks, who open the season on April 24th at 8p.m. will be playing out of the Glen Abbey Arena. Meanwhile, the first away game will be taking place on Sunday, May 3rd at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena against Six Nations.
“Coaching against Six Nations, it will be a little different coming onto the visitor’s bench. I look forward to it,” Smith said. “There is a great group of people behind the new Junior ‘C’ Six Nations team and I look forward to the competition.”
Naturally during tryouts, Smith will be busy getting to know not only the players but also Junior ‘A’ coaches which include Troy Cordingley who had a stellar player career and is the winner of a few Mann Cups.
“I look forward to working with the team and with Troy. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.” In terms of what it would mean to him winning a championship in his first year, Smith said, “To win the Meredith Cup would be a real Cinderella story for sure. My goal (as coach) is to get them to accept the new systems, work hard ands have fun.”
Overall, it’s an impressive lacrosse resume that Smith has which has seen him either coach or work in the executive level for approximately 17 years ranging from Paperweight through to the Junior/Senior level.
Also among his accomplishments, Smith was General Manager of the 2015 Six Nations Junior ‘C’ Warriors who made it to the Ontario Finals where they got silver. A couple of seasons later Smith was behind the Warriors bench where he led them to the semi-finals.
It’s safe to say that Oakville are getting a couple of experienced coaches with a winning track record in both Smith and Beach.