All Lacrosse - Boys Stories

The Motor City Knights offer a lacrosse outlet for players who attend schools that do not have varsity teams.

Lacrosse - Boys

Team offers lacrosse players an outlet

New Baltimore-based Knights open to anyone

Lacrosse has been the fastest-growing team sport among National Federation of State High School Association member schools for over a decade but Motor City Knights Lacrosse founder and coach Jason Benoit’s motivation for creating the program runs far deeper than merely supplying a demand.

“I never realized how much impact you can have in a child’s life by being a coach,” Benoit said.

“You automatically become a mentor for them, whether you want to be or not. They watch your every move. They watch how you react to certain situations.

“I am held accountable by all of my players. Coaching has made me a better dad, husband and man.”

The New Baltimore-based Knights provide an outlet for aspiring lacrosse players who don’t have a school or organization in their area that offers lacrosse. Players from New Baltimore receive discount pricing but the program has players from Sterling Heights, Almont, Shelby Township, St. Clair Shores and Mt. Clemens.

Benoit formed the Knights in 2012 as an extension of Vision Lacrosse Academy. The Academy offers camps, clinics and classes, while the Knights act as the Academy’s club teams.

The Knights program currently consists of 75 players across four boys teams: third and fourth grade, fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth grade and a high school team. Girls participate in the Academy’s camps and Benoit has contemplated forming club teams for girls in the future.

“The club has impacted my life in a way that has taught me how to become a better person, a better leader and has taught me that playing a sport that I love with great people makes for a memorable experience,” said Lorne “Tristan” Lovelace, a senior at Dakota.

The Motor City Knights is a faith-based organization built upon Judeo-Christian ethics, but the club welcomes players from all skill levels, beliefs and backgrounds.

“We are very conscious about the diverse geographic makeup of our teams,” Benoit said. “We are sensitive to everyone’s opinions and background. But we are very transparent and upfront with what the program is about and how we plan on conducting ourselves.

“We know the game of lacrosse and will do our best to make them succeed but we also want to help teach them how to grow as men on and off the field. I feel that most parents want what is best for their child to succeed and they respect us for helping their son grow in the sport and in life.”

Despite being in only its second year, the Knights’ high school team is already fielding college-level talent; Lovelace has committed to play Division III lacrosse at Hendrix College in Arkansas, while Austin Roberts of Clawson is receiving Division II offers from Michigan’s Cleary University and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.

“In simplest terms, I feel that the Knights coach 'the whole child,' rather than just the athlete,” said Denise Greenwood, whose son Jacob plays for the Knights. “I see this in the dedication of the coaching staff and the effort to know each player as an individual … Jacob has matured significantly in a number of ways during just one season.”

The Knights offer leagues year-round.

For more information on the Motor City Knights and the

Vision Lacrosse Academy, visit www.motorcityknights.com.

Last Updated: 6/5/2015 8:28:20 PM EST