In the evening of last Thursday, the Ontario Junior ‘C’ Lacrosse League (OJCLL) posted an announcement to their Facebook page regarding the Six Nations Junior ‘C’ Warriors. The post read: “It was with extreme difficulty that Commissioner Reg Holinshead announced to the rest of the OJCLL this evening that the Six Nations Warriors would not
In the evening of last Thursday, the Ontario Junior ‘C’ Lacrosse League (OJCLL) posted an announcement to their Facebook page regarding the Six Nations Junior ‘C’ Warriors.
The post read: “It was with extreme difficulty that Commissioner Reg Holinshead announced to the rest of the OJCLL this evening that the Six Nations Warriors would not be putting a team on the floor for 2019.”
The post included that several issues were of concern to the league executive and certain conditions couldn’t be rectified in time to honour the schedule, leading to the announcement.
“We have had discussions over the last couple of days and some people have put in a lot of effort to rectify the situation but no settlement could be reached, unfortunately, so this is where we landed,” wrote Hollinshead in an email to the league. “It is very unfortunate that this had to happen but there really was no other choice at this point.”
The teams in the Western conference will make up the games in a modified schedule that will allow the teams to complete 16 games. The playoff format will remain the same with one team not advancing to the post season with the other 6 battling it out for the right to represent the West in the Meredith Cup.
In the beginning, Junior ‘C’ Lacrosse was first sanctioned in Ontario in 1972 with a seven-team league that played a 20-game schedule and playoffs. After peaking in 1975 with 18 teams and three divisions, the league dissolved after the 1979 season with the pools of players moving into higher ranked leagues.
A rebooted OJCLL began operation in 2008 with five teams that included the Caledon Bandits, Center Wellington Warlords, Innisfil Wolfpack, Shelburne Vets, and the West Durham Patriots. The Caledon Bandits won the first title in 2008 over Center Wellington. While in 2009 the league added three more teams from Kingston, Peterboro and Clarington. The Caledon Bandits would defend their title defeating Peterboro 3-1 in the final best of five. In 2010 the league saw the same teams, however the West Durham team would relocate to Whitby and a new champion would emerge in the Clarington Shamrox who would move on to earn three titles in a row.
The 2011 season saw a huge change in the league as it expanded from 8 teams with the addition of Mimico, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Wilmot while eastern teams also came in with Cornwall, Brockville, Kahnawake, Nepean and Gloucester. The Huntsville Hawks would also drop down from Jr “B” to join the league with the Center Wellington Warlords switching owners and names and becoming the Fergus Thistles. Clarington Shamrox would take their second title with a win over Peterboro Lakers.
The 2012 campaign saw the league lose two eastern clubs after just one year as Nepean and Kahnawake did not return. Clarington would take their third title in a row over Halton Hills in the final. While in 2013 the league would stay the same in the number of teams at 16, however there would be a new champion crowned as the Halton Hills Bulldogs took the title in an overtime thriller in Cornwall, defeating the three time champs from Clarington 11-10. It was the last year of the tournament format to crown a champion.
In 2014 the league lost one more eastern team as Brockville Ballistic stopped operations while the Oakville Hawks and the Six Nations Warriors came in. The league switched back to an East-West division format which saw the Cornwall Celtics defeat the defending champions from Halton Hills 3-0 to win their first title.
The 2015 season saw the Kingston Kings and Hamilton Bengals stop operations while one of the original franchises the Innisfil Wolfpack would see them move next door to become the Barrie Bombers. The Peterboro Lakers would take their first championship as they swept the Six Nations Warriors 3-0 to the league final after an exemplary second season for the Warriors. Steady growth over the years has seen the league grow in number of teams to 16.
The OJCLL opens with an exhibition tournament in Wilmot on Saturday, April 20th with the first league games going on Friday, April 26th.