In our ongoing series, Kevin M. Neibauer sits down with someone from the World of Lacrosse. In this installment, Neibauer catches up with a true beauty in Kenny “Monster” Montour.
Monster was born and raised on the Six Nations reservation, so, lacrosse was second nature.
A storied career that saw Montour drafted 26th overall by the Albany Attack in the 1999 National Lacrosse League Draft, Monster spent most of his career playing in Buffalo but, made stops in Philadelphia, Arizona and Columbus.
His professional career came to an end when he suffered a concussion that came fromo a hit from< Drew Potkoff.
That being said, well,…written, let’s go One on One, with Ken “Monster” Montour.
KMN- Growing up in Six Nations, at what age did you begin playing?
KM- I started playing organized lacrosse at the age of four. I was pretty into it. I would watch my dad an my uncles play every Saturday night at our local arean… I always had to sit down and watch the game with my mom..I wasn’t around to run around,
KMN- Were you always a netminder?
KM- My first year organized was a runner. I was pretty into it. But, the next spring,my dad was the coach and we didn’t have a goalie. Our goalie had moved up to a new division…So, dad came home from work one day with all brand new goalie pads that he bought.
And, he told me that I had to go in the net. So, I did. It didn’t matter, I would have taken any position at that point.as I had had caught the bug by then.
So. I accepted the goalie position, and just went with it. My papa was very influential for me as well.
He was a proud ironworker and he instilled a tradesman-like approach to lacrosse..
To do what I am told to do and obey the coach.
My papa created a workshop in our basement which meant we could build my equipment every spring.
That was very humbling for me because I knew I had to do good because I saw how hard he worked.
Also, my great grandfather, Judy “Punch” Garlow, was a hall of fame goaltender in the ’50″s and he played professionally in Buffalo and Toronto.
He was small and agile and played in an era where there was very little equipment used, So, that inspired me to take up the position
KMN- You have many awards, including being named to the Ontario Lacosse Hall of Fame.. how special was that?
KM-I was never into individual awards . I just wanted my teams that I was on, to win. I would take any role I was given and do my best I could.
For the team,I never viewed myself as an individual.
I knew I needed my defense in front of me. And, I saw them, year after year, play their guts out without the accolades. To this day, I hold the defencemen out, there, with the highest respect!.
KMN- Two World Games, 1996 and 1999, talk about those experiences.
KM- I still talk to my former teammates about the World Games experiences quite often. It was such an amazing experience. And, such an honour to represent our own people, the Iroquois.
I still remember just putting on the jersey, looking around. seeing my buddies representing as well.
Just being so damn proud of everyone!
Guys from the other reserves across Turtle Island., just o meet with them bond with them. I was just so damn proud of everyone!
The Coaches and the Volunteers that made it happen.
That was the biggest thing, The feeling of being so proud! Being able to compete against other nations with my brothers
KMN- You played on the Brock University team that had great success, is there anyone else lacrosse fans would know who were on the roster?
KM- Brock University is a pipeline to the NLL, Where do I start?? Pat Campbell was the starting goalie when I first broke in.
He was an amazing goalie. I was lucky to be able to learn from him for a few years,
Shawn Williams was our superstar. That guy was such a big sniper!
Pat Maddelena was a star player. Ryan O’Connor, Mike Fishleigh, Blair Ferguson, Sean Howe, were all really good players,
Later in my time at Brock, I had amazing defensemen in front of me, Ryan Cousins, Jon Sullivan and Anthony Cosmo.
We had Sandy Chapman and Mark Cotton at the midfield spot.
Our big three snipers were, Mike Hominuck, Bradley Tapp and Matt Narchidon.
I was coached by Marty Cooper in my first two years at Brock in 1999 and 2000 He had just got the job with Columbus in the fall of 200, which, would have been my second season at Brock.
I had been drafted by Albany in 199-2000 but, Terry Sanderson had his goalies and didn’t want to disrupt my schooling,
So, Albany retained my rights and Marty traded for me to come into Columbus for the 2001 NLL season,
With Paddy Campbell coming thru the Brock pipeline, Marty left after one season, which brought Ryan Cousins into the fold.
Jeff Dowling, another Brock alumni, became Assistant Coach for Columbus in 2002,
That carried on the Brock pipeline and I take credit for that.
I didn’t play at Brock in 2001,, I was fresh off a MANN Cup win with The Coquitlam Adanacs over Brampton’
Dallas Eliuk was the star of the MANN Cup. That guy could sure play goal, wow!
I was never more honoured to back up any goalie. That summer I played with Dallas,
2002-2004, Shawn Williams was our Coach at Brock. As pre-mentioned, a Brock Alumni.
Can never take anything away from a great player who comes back to coach.
Willy was such a great player and a great coach also! He was in his prime in the NLL, lighting it up with Rochester,
He then came back to Brock to Coach us in the fall. It was such a great honour to be by a player who was out there doing it! himself!
We could feel that Willy lived and breathed the game.
he was such a great role model for us and the up-and-coming players like myself.
He watched what he ate and kept himself in great shape all year round.
He played the game with smarts and played his guts out.
Also, No Mercy, Mike Accursi was coaching the women’s lacrosse team at Brock during my tenure.
So, yeah, Brock has a special place for me. I had a lot of great memories there, GO BADGERS!!
KMN- You were named th starting goalie in the 2009 All Star Game and went on to be named Goalie of The Season, talk about that season.
KM+ I often joke about that with Roger Vyse. We were both buried on the depth chart to begin the season with Buffalo. Mikey Thompson ) was playing so well and I was supporting Mike from the bench.
Then he got ran…and hurt,. So,o, I got pressed into duty. Also, Rog got in because of an injury. So, we were both out there together with Buffalo and playing hard.
We strung together good seasons.
I said to Rog at the All-Star Gane ibDenver that year “Who would have thought you and I would be here right now?’ We had a good laugh at that. @ players buried on the depth chart who were sprung into service due to injuries.
But, that shows how Darris (Kilgour) built his teams. He was always underrated as a general manager, I feel.
There is a perfect example of 2 depth guys that stepped in and did the job. Darris, with his coaching abilities, brought the best out in everybody, including Rog and I.
KMN- You later spent time with Philadelphia, how much did you feed off the crowds in Buffalo and Philly?
KM- I have never felt so alive in my life! Then, when I got out there and played in Buffalo and Philly, Home or away.
I felt bad for Mike Miron when we were in Columbus in “02.
We were in Philly and a fan had a cheeseburger on a string…and was dangling it over the glass, over Miron’s head in warm-ups as I was taking shots and Miron was standing off to the side.
I had to ask Mike if he was ok, he said he was but I knew that really hurt him.
Because he was a bigger guy, an angles guy. But, yeah, the fans in Buffalo and Philly are amazing.. Thank you so much for supporting the game!
KMN- Lindsay Sanderson was your Coach in Philly. How was he to play for?
KM- I really enjoyed my time playing for Lindsay. He is such a nice guy, He ran such a good training camp that year leading to the 2007 season. He had us foaming at the mouth prepared to play that season. To me, that was the biggest thing. He was a master of preparation. That guy can really get a team ready for a season. He always finds ways to bring out the best in his players based on his relationship with them.
To me, that’s what its all about beyond the X’s and O’s, preparation and motivation. The Players need to get out there do it! So, again, playing for Lindsay was a lot of fun.
I flew in with the coaches that fall for training camp, I didn’t relocate to Philly until the season began,
Just once in my career, I wanted to live in the city where I was playing. So, that was the “07 season when I was playing with the Wings, The team traveled together with Lindsay, Greg and Chris all thru the season, of course, We got along great! LOL.
I kept the player/coach part separate when we were traveling. We just ,mainly talked about the NFL. Lindsay’s a pretty upbeat guy/. He would pick on me for beings a Lion’s fan and he would laugh his big laugh. He liked to tease me. But, I was ok with it. That was just Lindsay’s personality. It let me focus on what I needed to do in the goal.
KMN- Are you still active in the game, whether it be Coaching or Mentoring?
KM- I played for Six Nations in 2019 before the pandemic hit. It’s just a chance to stay active.
It’s a beer league but its a very offensive minded. When I get out there and get going, I have to keep reminding myself that its only masters.
I haven’t coached in a great while what with the pandemic. But, if someone was to ask me, sure I would!
I love the sounds of the game now. The slashing and whacking especially. It’s something you don’t hear in everyday life.
Thanks to Monster for taking the time to do this!