Home Grown and Raptors Lacrosse merged on September 1st, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

To make the merger official, we are excited to announce the launch of the HGR (Home Grown and Raptors) Lacrosse League beginning with the winter league and for all leagues thereafter. With some of the best players in any league, we expect to kill the competition. Our new HGR Lacrosse League will have a ton of teams, which will make us the biggest and most competitive league in the area by leaps and bounds. So when you win, it will be something very cool to rest your hat on.

We’re setting up three divisions for HS boys and two divisions for the HS girls. That means just about every team should be in the hunt for playoffs.

With this tiered division, you could be a very good team in the B division and win the B division, where as you may not have even made the A division playoffs. So it gives everybody something to play for. It pits everyone against equal competition, so they’re improving. And it keeps everyone interested in the league for the entire winter.

We think one of the coolest parts of it is the 2-facility home and away schedule (which won’t be inconvenient because the facilities are close to each other). You’ll play your regular season at your home facility, but it will be really fun to travel for playoffs to give it a real playoff feel. For instance, when you win a game, you’ll host the next game at home. But if you lose, you’ll have to go play for third place away. It will give the league playoffs a more exciting vibe for the end of the season.

A key point with the HGR League is that there is no coaching, which we think the kids will be excited about, because kids get coached to death. There are plenty of opportunities to get coached in the HGR organization, whether it be through the elite teams, the clinics, the skills and scrimmages—there are all sorts of coaching opportunities. This is an opportunity for the kids to just roll out the ball and just play, and have pure fun with the sport, and get after it and be competitive against friends from other towns. It’s simple – it’s just getting up and down for an hour.

One more cool thing about the league is that for the HS boys, we’re going to do an All-Star game at the end of the league. We’re going to choose four teams of All-Stars, North, South, East and West. And then we’re going to do a play day at Home Grown, where we invite college coaches from the area—guys from Division II and Division III—to come watch these kids and recruit them. That’s unlike any other league anywhere. Usually that only happens at a recruiting showcase which could cost more than the league itself per player.

Another benefit to Home Grown and Raptors merging is that now you take our coaching staff which was already pretty amazing and you make it that much more deep. So we have Pete, Mike, myself, Mike Morgan, Dan O’Brian—all great coaches—and you add Graham Whiteway who started the Raptors, Ken Blaska who is the head coach at Woburn, Ryan Conolly who is the head coach at North Andover High School. Ryan was also an All American UMass Amherst as well. You add those guys to the program and now you’ve got a coaching staff to rival any coaching staff anywhere.

Sure in most programs there are a few top coaches who have credentials, but maybe their A team only has two great coaches, and their B team only has one coach, and it falls off from there. We have extremely qualified and over-qualified coaches for ALL of our teams. Every one on our staff is an exceptional High School or College coach.

Every one of our players is getting exceptional coaching from top to bottom. We don’t use college kids for assistant coaches or a guy who just graduated college who’s just getting his start at coaching. All of our coaches are experienced coaches who know the game and can advance these kids much more quickly than any other coaching staff can.

The general talent level of our teams is going to go through the roof! When you start taking the best of the best and putting them together, we’re going to have a much better product on the field.

Some parents may be concerned about kids that aren’t top players being left out, but the opposite is going to happen. They will be put on teams that match their skill levels and we can now get them into developmental programs.

So now our Elite teams can be Elite teams. And our developmental teams can be appropriate of that skill level. So they be Freshman and Sophomores in High School who aren’t ready to be recruited to colleges yet, they’re trying to get better so they can make an Elite team so they can get recruited to college in the future. So we put them on Freshman/Sophomore devo teams, where they go to practices, they go to tournaments, but they are placed in brackets that are appropriate to them, which will help them develop more quickly. So instead of being bench warmers, they can actually get in to play the game. Instead of being placed in a talent pool that is currently too deep for them, they’ll be able to have successes and build more quickly from those successes.

We will also be having Freshmen and Sophomore Elite teams for the kids who are ready to play at that level. Those are the kids who’ll get recruited to the Division I programs. Most DI programs lock kids up when they’re Sophomores in High School. We’ll have Elite teams for them as well.

We couldn’t be more excited about the HGR League and we know the kids will be too. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!