"Normally, we play at the high school level. And yet we really were pretty darn good. ... These kids are coming from all kinds of universities and playing. So I think we played pretty well. We got together, we had good camaraderie and there was some talk of us getting together to get some other combined Alliance events as a team. We didn't even practice — not one time."
The high school Alliance team had 23 players this spring and lost just five of those.
"We've got a big return factor coming up," Benson said. "And I know we've got a bunch of boys coming up this year."
Benson said the Alliance program may also have a sevens team for the first time this fall, playing mainly against Grand Rapids-area schools. Any players interested in playing can contact Benson at 342-5085.
He also said the team is going to have its own field this year, gaining permission from a homeowners association to use a piece of land to the west of Wuerfel Park in Blair Township.
First-year player Drew Gary said the experience was a great one.
"I love it," Gary said. "Our team is one of a kind. They're all inspirational. And when you're down, they help you get right back up. They're the greatest."
The 2012 Traverse City St. Francis 2012 grad played in four games — two each for the Blues and Alliance alumni — mostly on the outside wing. He had two assists on tries.
"Our team fought hard, but we didn't come back with a trophy this year," Gary said. "But we gave it our all and had a blast. And that's all that counts, really. Now we're just focused on our real season and looking forward to giving it to Kalamazoo."
In other scores, Grand Rapids defeated MSU 50-0, the Third Halfers crushed CMU 71-12 and Michigan won the "Old Boys" 35+ match 67-14 over Traverse City.