With just 37 seconds remaining, Six Nations Rebels Joe Haodias Maracle broke a 10-10 tie with what turned out to be the game- and title-winning goal over the Akwesasne Indians last night. With the thrilling 11-10 victory, the Rebels win the 2012 Ontario Lacrosse Association Junior B lacrosse championship, three games to none. This is a repeat for Six Nations, who were defending their 2011 title in this Battle for Ontario.
The celebration was dulled however, as Six Nations suffered a tragic loss earlier this week. Carney Elijah Johnson, known as CJ28 (his initials and jersey number), a Rebels defensive/transition player, walked on Monday afternoon. The club announced the passing on their website. No details were released, but the team did offer this message:
“It is with Great Sadness and Sorrow, the Six Nations Rebels lacrosse team has lost the heart and soul of their 2012 squad, Carney Elijah Johnson (November 12, 1992 to August 6, 2012) has passed away. Our condolences go out to Tom Johnson and Anita Deats Hill and their family for the lost of their son.”
Johnson was a third-year player with the Rebels and this season had 33 points (11-22) in 15 regular season games this summer. In 12 playoff games, he had 5-9 for 14 points, including a goal in last Sunday’s Game 2 finals win over Akwesasne. The Rebels have posted a moving video tribute to the young man on their site. To view, go to sixnationsjrbrebels.com.
Next up for the Rebels will be the Founders Cup tournament, staged on their home turf. The four-time defending Cup winners will be favorites to take this title too. For more information, visit the club’s website.
Congratulations to the Rebels on their championship and to the Akwesasne Indians on a marvelous season. And condolences and all best wishes to Carney’s family, friends and teammates, they will be in our thoughts and prayers.