*Note: This article was contributed to Lacrosse Bucket by Brian Simpkins on behalf of the Minorities in Lacrosse Association*
Have you ever heard of Warhorse Lacrosse Club based in Philadelphia, Pa.?
This grass-roots lacrosse club has a list of alumni that have proven themselves worthy not only on the lacrosse field, but also in the classroom. To date, Warhorse L.C. has assisted over 25 student-athletes in obtaining student-athletic scholarships and has produced a National Champion both in high school and NCAA, graduate students, and has a 100% High School graduation rate.
This Black-owned lacrosse club has exceeded expectations since its inception in 2012. The East Stroudsburg (PA) graduate and Warhorse L.C. Co-Founder, Arthur Johnson brainstormed his non-profit from being called a racial slur while at a lacrosse club party in 2009. Instead of fighting physically, in 2010, he launched, The Re-Education Foundation (TREF), which focuses on nontraditional activities for youth and young adults. This organization offered programs such as; test prep, tutoring, financial literacy, spoken word, and lacrosse.
His first team, TREF-Tomahawks (Warhorse L.C. Alum) were an underrated squad that produced NCAA D1-D3 lacrosse scholar-athletes. Rasool Smith (Rosemont College via UD Mercy), Amir Fluellen (Salisbury), Cori Grobes (Del-Val Univ.), Keyveat PosteIl (UPenn), Gideon Brockenbrough (Cleveland State), Shawn George (Lindenwood Univ.), and Ronnie Bolden (Temple Univ. via. Beloit College) are a few notable alumni from the program..
In 2015, the now Rosemont College Men’s Assistant Coach, Arthur Johnson renamed the club to something that appealed to many at the time, Urban Select Lacrosse. These teams were an even younger grass-roots level team. These young men took longer to blossom and may have jump sports later on, but there was a plan. Coach Johnson’s outreach spread younger again after two years.
In 2018, Kevin Crowley, MLL & NLL 1st Round Draft pick and long time supporter of Coach Johnson’s Philly born and bred program was asked to come on board. But something had to change, another name change. Coach Johnson and Crowley decided to change the name from Urban Select to Warhorse L.C. This came because of the symbolism with the word of Urban. Both co-founders agreed that if a new club direction was going to take place and represent Philly, the negative symbolism surrounding the word Urban wasn’t going to be a part of the branding.
Today, Warhorse L.C. is truly a Philly team. They offer competing teams from grades Kindergarten to 8th grade for boys and girls. From 2018 to now, they’re 2028-2030 graduate class teams have consistently ranked in the top teams in the Bobblehead League, establishing themselves as a hard nose, blue-collar lacrosse club. Now Warhorse L.C. aims to transition and compete on a higher competitive club level consistently within the Lacrosse Federation and Southeastern PA Spring Club Leagues.
Warhorse L.C. has only one household name, Kevin Crowley to help. But the true backbone of this organization is the coaches and committed parents that fundraise through traditional formats such as candy and raffles since 2012. Cutting corners to purchase uniforms factory direct and wholesale using number kits and heat transfers to offer their participants the same quality as other more fortunate clubs. Imagine the possibilities with the support other programs receive because of their “lacrosse ties.” Also, there are quite a few others like Warhorse L.C. People have said, “Grow the game,” and “It starts at the grass-roots”. Let’s support lesser-known, community based, Black-owned lacrosse clubs, and watch the change.
If you want to donate or get involved with Warhorse L.C. please visit www.warhorselacrosse.com or email Coach Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with Warhorse L.C on Instagram: @WarhorseLC_.