Variety is key to his athletic skills, says lacrosse star


Waterloo Region Record
By Christine Rivet

Kitchener’s Dhane Smith has a message for those parents out there that put their kids in one sport at the exclusion of other sports.

The Buffalo Bandits 24-year-old superstar, who just set the National Lacrosse League’s all-time single-season points record, insists his participation in all available sports through his youth is what propelled him to the top of the heap.

“You see nowadays some parents are pushing for one sport over the others and going hard on that one sport. I think my success has come from me playing as many sports as possible,” said the soft-spoken, multi-sport talent who has endeared himself to fans with his humble demeanour.

Smith, who notched his 131st point of the season on Saturday — that’s a mind-boggling 68 goals and 63 assists in 17 games — eventually specialized in lacrosse. But the Great Dhane held out for the longest time, even returning to high school for a Grade 12 victory lap so he could play football.

Like Wayne Gretzky, who attributed at least some of his hockey success to his off-season participation in baseball, Smith figures the skills and strategy acquired in other sports can pay dividends in a professional career.

Of course, at six-foot-three and 195 pounds, Smith is a naturally gifted athlete. He ran track and played high school basketball, volleyball, hockey and football at Huron Heights Secondary School along with the lacrosse he played in the summer.

He busted his ankle playing that final football season, an injury that ultimately forced him to abandon his other pursuits in favour of lacrosse.

“Growing up, lacrosse was always my favourite sport. So I figured that was my best choice.”

Since he was drafted fifth overall in 2012 by recent Waterloo Region hall of fame inductee, Bandits GM Steve Dietrich, Smith has amazed even his teammates with rapid ascent.

“I thought (Smith) was really good when I first watched him in junior, but I didn’t know he could become this good at this level so quick,” said fellow Kitchener product Ryan Benesch, Smith’s linemate with the Bandits.

“I’m pulling for him for even more success.”

Smith and Benesch, both nominated for Kitchener-Waterloo and area’s 2015 athlete of the year award, head into the Bandits’ regular-season finale on Saturday night when New England visits the First Niagara Center.

Smith can put the finishing touches on his season for the ages. He needs four goals to surpass Athan Iannucci’s eight-year-old NLL record of 71 goals in a season. ; Twitter: @RivetRecord

Before he was well known – De-hawn-ee Smith

Before Dhane Smith was a household name in lacrosse, we have this highlight clip of a game in 2012 when the announcer referred to Dhane as De-hawn-ee Smith, at around the 1:20 mark.  The comment was comical but not the result of the game.

Click here to watch:  ->


Final Notice – Playoff Pool

final notice

Click here to join the KW Braves playoff hockey pool.

Braves Home Opener 1967 – 1st Ever !!

1st game

Braves Playoff Hockey Pool

There are no Canadian teams in the playoffs this year so the only way to stay interested is by getting involved in this playoff hockey pool and … help support the KW Braves.

Spread the word, this is open to anyone.

How to register, PREFERRED METHOD.
  1. Go to   <- click this link
  2. Login with “pool username” of  kwbraves
  3. Pool password is playoffs
  4. Click SIGNIN
  5. Click on ENTRY FORM –  top left side of the screen on grey menu bar
  6. Fill in your name, email address and a password which is used for “Trash Talk”
  7. Make a selection in all 24 boxes and once completed with all selections, click SUBMIT ENTRY
Optionally you could print the attached PDF and follow the instruction provided.  ->  Click here for the PDF->  playoff hockey pool
Cost is $25.  Cash or cheque made out to KW Lacrosse Alumni – mailing address Lawrie Hallman, 699 Munich Circle, Waterloo, N2V 2L6
Alternatively you can e-Transfer funds to




Braves Hockey Pools

The Braves Regular Season hockey pool is winding down, the final weekend is here.  Currently in first place is Brent Tinning (always up at the top of our pools) followed by Mike Rooymans and Mickey Poulin.  Final results will be known on Sunday.
The Braves follow this pool with a playoff pool so make sure you review your favourites and get ready mid week for the new pool.  The cost will be $25.  Don’t miss the fun.  Further details will follow.

First ever Kitchener Minor Lacrosse Ontario Champ – 1969 Bantams


bantam 1969

1969 Kitchener Bantams – Ontario “B” Champions


This was the first ever Kitchener minor team to win an all Ontario championship.  Many of these players and management went on to be a part of the KW Braves.  Here are some of the names:

Front Row:  Scott Diefenbacher, Bruce McLellan, Jim Grant, Dave Baker, John McCrea, Mike Ertel, Mike O’Donoghue

Second Row:  Dave Thomas, Russ Snyder, Mark Mongeon, Damon Deacon, Tom Germann,  Gary Stemmler, Craig Windley, Gerrard Blinkhorn, Dave Baker SR

Back Row: Charlie Homuth, Greg Romanick, Dan Fotopoulos, Greg Watson, Jeff Zinken, Dennis Wray, Craig Dawson, Dan Randle


Underlined names went on to play or work with the Braves.  Thanks go out to John McCrea for helping with the missing names.



train camp

In 1987, first ever Canadian Championship !!

In 1987 the KW Braves were truly the underdogs in the Founders Cup Canadian Championship and went on to defeat the powerhouse Mississauga Tomahawks in a one game final who were led by none other than now retired John Tavares.

There are two NLL hall of famers in this photo.  Can you find them and how many others can you name?  #tbt  #kwbraves

Trade Alert

The KW Braves have traded 3rd year goaltender Blake Jensen to the Toronto Beaches in exchange for 2nd year right shot Jordan Goddard of Hamilton and a 2017 second round draft pick.


Blake Jensen #30


The Braves wish Blake the very best in Toronto and thank him for his commitment and dedication over the past 2 years.  We would also like to welcome Jordan to the Braves.

Circa 1992 KW Braves

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Blast from the past – our Guelph connection

In this picture you will see a real connection with the KW Braves, both in the past and currently.  This was a 1984 Guelph Bantam team that went on to win the Canadian Championships.  Read more about it here: Click here for article.

A – Steve Keleher – current assistant coach

B – Bob Watson – past player (part of 1987/88 Canadian Champs)and NLL Hall of Famer

C – Jay Martin –  past player (part of 1987/88 Canadian Champs)

D – Mike Keleher – past player (part of 1987/88 Canadian Champs)

E – Chris Driscoll – past player (part of 1987/88 Canadian Champs) – current head coach – 19 years in the NLL

F – Ron Keleher – past player – lates 60’s and father of current asst coach Steve

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Happy St Patrick’s Day

st pattys

KW Braves Alumni Golf

Save the date:  Saturday June 11th 1:00 pm at New Dundee Golf.  Further details to follow.

Don’t miss the excitement.

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An interview with “The Creator” of the Braves

3-14-2016 4-00-42 PM

In search of Old Photos / Articles

In attempts to build a library of history for the KW Braves and the Kitchener Braves, we are in search any old news articles and pictures you may have.  We should need them as long as it takes to scan and return them to you.  Please email Lawrie Hallman, if you are able to help.


Here is Joe McCrea in 1967.   Joe went on to win a Mann Cup in 1979 with the Victoria Shamrocks.

braves old 1


Chris Cloutier – Having fun at UNC


Kiley Burns | Published 02/07/16 10:05pm




There’s a new Canuck in town.After losing the opening faceoff and allowing Michigan to score the first goal of the game, sophomore attacker Chris Cloutier ripped the ball into the net, sparking a 5-0 run for the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team in under four minutes.The run helped fuel a 20-10 win for UNC in its season opener — and Cloutier emerged as the dark horse of the Tar Heels’ offense.


On Saturday, he posted five.“Cloutier’s a bear. He’s a monster,” Coach Joe Breschi said. “You can’t cover him with the short stick.”The 5-foot-11, 215-pound attackman was integral to his team’s offensive explosion. After the graduation of Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter and Chad Tutton — three of UNC’s top four scorers from a year ago — uncertainty surrounded the unit.“We talked about it as we started the season that there’s going to be a lot of new guys on the field,” Breschi said.“And we’re not trying to have them do anything they’re not capable of doing.”Not only did Cloutier make his first start on Saturday, but it was also his first time playing his new position since high school. The coaches moved him to midfielder for his first year, switching Cloutier to attackman this offseason. “It really helps to have these guys out here to teach me through the new ways,” Cloutier said. “It helped that our chemistry (with junior Luke Goldstock and senior Steve Pontrello) is so strong.”Cloutier was one of 10 different Tar Heels to score in Saturday’s season debut, silencing any doubt about the team’s talent. Pontrello contributed four goals and an assist to the effort, while Goldstock posted two goals and three assists.


“We’re very deep all over the field,” Cloutier said. “At this point, as you saw out there today, anyone can score.”Michigan did not have an answer to the Tar Heels’ multitude of offensive weapons. At halftime, the Wolverines pulled goalkeeper Gerald Logan in favor of Robbie Zonino.But Cloutier and the Tar Heels could not be contained.Just as he did in the first quarter, Cloutier kicked off a 4-0 run by the Tar Heels to start the fourth quarter. He went on to total three goals in the period to finish off the Wolverines. “As you can imagine, it felt great,” Cloutier said. “Obviously nerves were just flying around, like really you just don’t want to mess up at your first chance.”This bear of an attack could just be getting started.


Connor Cole – Leading the DUTCHMEN


connor cole

Connor Cole leads Dutchmen into the playoffs, now off to the second round versus the Siskins.  Click for KW Record article.


Six Nations Chiefs hire Stephen “CHUGGER” Dietrich as GM

Click here for article.

Colin Doyle Interview

Click here to view video