OHSWEKEN — Since the Six Nations Rivermen made their debut, they have entertained fans with an exciting, winning brand of lacrosse.
Starting in 2013, Six Nations lacrosse fans were introduced to the OLA Senior B Rivermen who for the first seven seasons had made franchise history by racking up four league championships, along with celebrating Presidents Cup wins in 2015 and 2019.
“It’s always special playing lacrosse for a team that has Six Nations written on the front of your jersey,” Delby Powless, who played for the Rivermen from 2013 until 2015 said.
Reflecting on the thrill of helping Six Nations write franchise history by bringing home from St. Catharines the 2015 Presidents Cup, Powless replied,
“For me, it was just nice to win with a great group of guys. On the bus ride there I knew that was going to be my last competitive lacrosse game so it was cool to win it.”
Powless ended his Senior B Rivermen career in storybook fashion as he helped the Rivermen reach that ultimate franchise goal by defeating the Capital Region Axeman 14-11 in championship play to earn that right to be called the 2015 Presidents Cup champions.
“We knew we had the team to win but being a tournament format, anything can happen,” Powless said.
Recently, when asked about what made that franchise history making 2015 team so special, Powless touched on the groups tight bond and how losing the Presidents Cup finals the year before, made them that more determined.
“That team had great chemistry and was definitely a team first atmosphere,” Powless said.
“I think losing in the finals the year before brought us together even more for the 2015 season. That season and team ranks high on the list of teams I played for simply because it was a great group to be around and it was fun.”
The Six Nations franchise actually came into existence back in 2001 but during that campaign went by the team name Six Nations Crash. A year later they once again changed their names to the Six Nations Stars and from 2003-2008 were known as the Mohawk Stars.
Once again, they made news with another name change, as they were from 2009-2011 called the Ohsweken Warrriors. After sitting out the 2012 campaign, they came back in 2013 as the Rivermen and have provided excitement and a winning culture right from that very first game.
Prior to winning that 2015 Presidents Cup, the Rivermen proved to be a solid talented team as they went 11-5 in their inaugural 2013 season, before losing to the eventual Presidents Cup Champions, St. Catharines Saints in the Senior B OLA championship finals.
The following season was a huge step forward for Six Nations who defeated in league championship play, first place Ennismore James Gang in winning their first Senior B OLA championship. Giving their fans an ultimate thrill, the Rivermen travelled to Coquitlam British Columbia, where they fell agonizingly short of winning the Presidents Cup, dropping a 9-7 championship game decision against the Onondaga Redhawks.
“It’s always a great honor to represent your home town in any sort of activity,” another Rivermen legend Holden Vyse said.
Vyse, who played on both the 2015 and 2019 Presidents Cup teams also stated,
“The Presidents Cup was great because it’s a mixture of guys who just love to play the game for no other reason then to play for their home town and their friends. Add a national title to that and it’s a great experience.”
A year after celebrating that 2015 Presidents Cup, the Rivermen made it to the Senior B OLA finals, but suffered heartbreak as they were swept by the Brooklin Merchants.
“We’ve always had a good team and real shot at winning it all,” Rivermen veteran Ashton Jacobs said.
Jacobs, who has two Presidents Cup rings with the Rivermen also added,
“Sometimes you just don’t get the bounces you need to pull it all off.”
Naturally, strong goaltending is essential if a team wants to have success and that’s what Six Nations had through the years, with prominent names such as Chase Martin, Brenner Jacobs, and Warren Hill who also played a huge role in helping the Rivermen win their two Presidents Cups.
“Being a part of the 2015 team was my first taste of a championship and it was cool to be apart of,” Hill said.
Reflecting on last year’s championship, which came courtesy of a 9-5 Presidents Cup championship win in Kahnawake QC against the Akwesasne Bucks, Hill responded,
“Last year when we won it was a little bit more special just because of the adversity we went through during the year and that made our team especially close.”
This summer, the Rivermen didn’t get a chance to defend their Presidents Cup title due to the season being cancelled due to COVID-19.
Since the Rivermen came into existence in 2013, this franchise has prided themselves with entertaining fans with a winning brand of lacrosse.
Cutline- The Six Nations Rivermen celebrate another Presidents Cup win. Since becoming the Rivermen in 2013, this franchise has celebrated Presidents Cup wins in 2015 and most recently in 2019. Supplied Photo.