Coalition Lacrosse Breaks Away - Looks to Offer More

Here is a copy of the story at  http://www.alllacrossemichigan.com/#!top-stories/c1wqp

BRIGHTON, MI (October 3, 2014) - Recently, Blue Crew and Coalition Lacrosse broke away from the True Lacrosse family and formed their own organization. The two teams were mainstays at local and regional tournaments for the last two years and were easy to spot - they had some of the most recognizable uniforms in the area.  

Starting your own lacrosse organization takes guts and vision. With all of the competition in the State of Michigan, directors, coaches and teams need to separate themselves from the crowd to gain an advantage. I spoke with Ty McGuire, affectionately called "Coach", to get a better understanding of the split and what the Coalition will provide to their players and parents.

Why did you decide to merge Blue Crew and the Coalition and break away from the True Lacrosse umbrella?

We learned a lot working with True Lacrosse. They offer a lot as far as how to structure things and knowing what works. Also there are some truly great coaches in their program as well. We felt that we would be able to offer our families more if we broke away. The biggest change is that we are working with Barwis Methods and the Legacy Center to offer team-specific training during the winter.

What's the structure of the organization - contact persons, teams, etc.?

Coalition is directed by Trenton Gafner, and Blue Crew is run by me, Ty McGuire. Trenton and I graduated together from Tecumseh and are best friends. Owning our company together is basically a dream come true.

Coalition Army Ants is going to call itself Army Ants moving forward, and Blue Crew will remain the same. Our new company is going to be called Coalition Lacrosse. Army Ants are based out of Flint and have travel teams for ages U19, U17, U15, and U13. Blue Crew is based out of Ann Arbor/Brighton and also have travel teams for ages U19, U17, U15, and U13.

What are your goals going forward?

Moving forward our goal is to produce the best possible travel clubs in our areas. Being the best to us means offering the most comprehensive package out there. From off-season training, to speed & agility, we offer more than just a group of guys getting together for tournaments. This is the 4th year for Army Ants and the 2nd year for Blue Crew. There is a ton of competition and new clubs popping up every year so for us to be the best it won’t be easy.

What's the club's philosophy?

One of the words that comes up a lot when Trenton and I talk about our clubs is commitment. When we find coaches for teams, we’re looking for an outstanding coach that is also committed to his players. When we look for players, we want guys that are committed to working hard in the off-season to achieve their goals. Trenton and I have decided to make this our lives for the moment so we believe there isn’t a more committed group of people out there.

Where are your players from? and What will be the difference in the team structure?

The big schools for Blue Crew are Brighton, Okemos, Howell, Saline, all of the Ann Arbor schools, Detroit Catholic Central, South Lyon, and other Metro Detroit schools.

For Army Ants, they draw from Hartland, Midland, Grand Blanc, Flint Powers, and are beginning to see interest from places like Lake Orion and Clarkston.

Blue Crew obviously has a bigger pool but there’s also a lot more options for players in the area. 

How was the summer season? Highlights?

 For Blue Crew, our U19 went 25-2-1. We won both Bluegrass Festival in Kentucky, and Cherry Bomb. Our only two losses came in championship games for Roller Coaster Rumble and Pipe City, and both were by a goal! We also earned an trip to Dick’s tournament of champions in Tampa, FL. It was truly a special group that raised the bar for travel clubs and Blue Crew itself. 

 U19 Coalition Army Ants finished 3rd at Roller Coaster Rumble and GLLI. They also made it to the semi-finals at Cherry Bomb. Their U15 team finished in 1st place at GLLI. 

What are the fall plans?

For the fall, the Army Ants are going to play at both Melee in the Mitten at the Legacy Center in Brighton, and at Top Cheddar in Milwaukee. 

Blue Crew has their tryouts on Oct 12 for the 2015 summer season. 

Who's calling the shots on the gear? Both teams had a cool looking brand?

Both Trenton and I have our own unique sense of style and we work with design companies to produce something that represents what we want portrayed for our teams. We’re definitely excited to launch our jerseys for next year, we both have something special in mind.

I also want to mention that our new website is up and running at www.coalitionlax.com Also we expect Blue Crew tryouts to be big, they're Oct, 4-7pm, at the Legacy Center.

Anyone with questions regarding Army Ants should contact Trenton Gafner at tgafner@coalitionlax.com or (810) 986-5095.

Anyone with questions regarding Blue Crew should contact Ty McGuire at tmcguire@coalitionlax.com or  (517) 605-5088.