About Blax Lax
Anthony (Merc) Ryan and Lloyd Carter
Blax Lax was established in 2002 and co-founded by Lloyd Carter and Anthony (Merc) Ryan, former teammates at Edmondson High School (Baltimore, MD) and Morgan State University, also known as the “10 Bears”. Morgan State University was the 1st college in history to establish a predominately African American NCAA varsity lacrosse program. The book titled "TEN Bears”, written by Miles Harrison, and the ESPN documentary "The Morgan Lacrosse Story” both summarize and articulate the Ten Bears nostalgic and huge transcending arrival into lacrosse history books.
Sadly, after 11 years the Morgan State lacrosse program was dismantled following the 1981 season. During this final season, the 1981 team concluded its regular season competition ranked 3rd in NCAA Division II lacrosse. The highlight of the program’s finale season came about as the 81 team recorded victories over 4 eventual college lacrosse powerhouses: Georgetown University, Villanova University, Michigan State University and Notre Dame University, within a 2-week period.
Ostensibly, the impact of bringing a lacrosse program to Morgan St U. was huge enough in itself, and reason for all of Baltimore and lacrosse enthusiasts throughout the US to take note. But what occurred 5 years into its inaugural season was incredible. The 1975 “10 Bear” lacrosse team shocked the entire country by defeating NCAA’s nationally top ranked team, Washington Lee University, at Washington Lee. Prior to this feat by the 10 Bears, the historical powerhouse Washington & Lee had not lost a regular season or home game in 2 years.
Morgan St U. had hit the nail on the head, by having the vision to bring lacrosse to its campus. Financially pressured to drop the program in 81 was saddening, yet considering the success the program accomplished, all thought this HBCU lacrosse hiatus of-sorts, would not last long.
Surprisingly, and to the dismay of many African American lacrosse enthusiasts, no other HBCU opened their fields to a proceeding lacrosse program for 30+ years. At which time, in 2012 the University of District of Columbia, and in 2016 Hampton University would prospectively succeed in fielding varsity programs. Remarkably enough, Blax Lax’s co-founder Lloyd Carter, following a tremendous career as high school head coach at Baltimore’s Northwestern HS, would not only become instrumental in starting up the men’s lacrosse program at Hampton U, but he would also take on the helm as head coach for its 1st 4 seasons, producing a winning record in his final 2019 season.
While Coach Carter was rewriting history at Hampton, Coach Merc continued his 20-year tenure as a Baltimore City High coach, at once Walbrook HS and then Baltimore City College high schools. During this high school tenure, Coach Merc has won over 200 games and posted the highest winningest percentage of all Baltimore City HS lacrosse league competition, dating back 5 decades. At one point, over a period of 3 ½ years (2007-2011), winning 44 straight games in Baltimore City competition, while at City College HS.
Embarking onto a new yet presenting a sort of closer-to-home opportunity for prospective African American college lacrosse players, there was an additional joyful celebration, as each of these new programs featured Blax Lax alumni on its program rosters. These young men complimented the long list of former Blax Lax players who have enjoyed successful college lacrosse careers throughout the US.
Although our Blax lax programs have borne many a fruit from its services, there remains plenty of work yet to be done.
Throughout the urban communities of Baltimore City, we are beginning to witness a more and more common sighting, as we see records of youngsters toting lacrosse sticks to and from their travels. Seemingly bright eyed and star driven, these youngsters remain cognizant of the staggering number of common elements that have suddenly plagued many of and from this city. Yet our boys are increasingly seeking the refuge of playing and competing in this great game of lacrosse.
With the many expensive Baltimore County club lacrosse teams and organizations, the Baltimore beltway seemingly divides the 2 cultures by way of simple opportunity. Notably, the have and the have nots. Yet, on both sides of the beltway, the exact same dreams are cradled in each of those sticks, without bias. There are two entities separating the two; funding of programs, and the affordability for many Baltimore City families to absorb this expense.
Lacrosse, as we oh so know, is an expensive sport. Blax Lax attempts to lessen and fill in these gaps, as we have pride ourselves over the past 20 years, by becoming a constant and never having to turned one child away because of cost and the inability of the member’s family to afford, the otherwise reasonable cost to many more well off families throughout the Baltimore counties, and those similar throughout the US.