NATIONALS' JASON JOHNSON IN SEARCH OF GOLD
5/30/12 1:17 PM
(May 30, 2012)… Fresh off his 2012 NLL Champion’s Cup victory with the Rochester Knighthawks, Assistant Coach Jason Johnson will have another chance to win a championship. He will head to Europe in July as a member of the Iroquois Nationals U19 team at the 2012 World Championships in Turku, Finland.
“I get to travel doing what I like and that is coaching lacrosse,” said Johnson.
The Iroquois Nationals released their 27-man roster Sunday, and will play for coaches Johnson, Delby Powless and Freeman Bucktooth. The Iroquois Nationals are looking to build upon their bronze-medal finish at the 2008 U-19 tourney. Rochester Knighthawks and Six Nations Arrows star Johnny Powless represents one of the offensive juggernauts on the Iroquois, which also includes Albany’s Lyle Thompson and Onondaga Community College’s Randy Staats. Staats and Powless are two of the eight Six Nations Arrows on the Iroquois team.
The 2012 World Championships are set for July 12th to the 21st with 13 competing nations heading to Turku. The teams include Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Iroquois Nationals, Netherlands, Scotland, USA and Wales. The Iroquois will rely on its speed and superior stick skills, as it takes its game to world-wide audience. Johnson and Powless will control the offense, as they work with the next generation of indoor and outdoor superstars.
“We stress the fundamentals, but we are also letting them be creative and what they are good at. It will be more structured but more go with the flow,” said Johnson.
Johnson, the Arrow Express Sports Lacrosse Director, brings an extensive amount of pro lacrosse coaching experience to the Iroquois’ sidelines. Johnson just finished his third season in Rochester with his first NLL championship.
Besides working with the Knighthawks, he has served as an assistant with Hamilton Nationals of Major League Lacrosse. For four seasons, he has worked for the Nationals and helped the team reach two MLL Finals. The Nats won the MLL title in 2009 and fell just one goal short of a second championship in 2011. As he prepared for the Nationals’ fourth game of the 2012 season, he admitted he needs more time to reflect on his impending trip overseas.
“When we are a couple of days out, I will get that excited feeling about traveling to Finland,” said Johnson. “It hasn’t hit me yet.”
The Nationals will play the expansion Charlotte Hounds at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 2nd on national TV on the CBS Sport Network. Hamilton will return home on Saturday, June 9th to host the Rochester Rattlers at 7:00 p.m. at McMaster University.