By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/5/11
Eight legends that contributed to the Philadelphia lacrosse scene as players, coaches, referees and leaders were inducted tonight into the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame during a banquet at Whitemarsh Valley County Club in Lafayette Hill.
Mike Busza (inducted as a Player), Brian Dougherty (Player), Robert “Buzz” Lynn (Umprire), John Nostrant (Coach), Lee Allen Krug (Coach), Gail Cummings-Danson (Player), Lynn Anderson (Player/Service), and Joan W. Salmon (Official/Service) were honored before a throng of over 300 attendees.
The event – the 10th induction ceremony – was sponsored by the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association.
Each inductee gave a speech that was met with a standing ovation. The final speech came from Dougherty, who admitted he is known for his happy-go-lucky style and quick one-liners. Dougherty – known affectionately to most as “Doc” – did not disappoint with his remarks on the growth of the sport in Philadelphia.
“When I started playing people didn’t give Philadelphia lacrosse any respect,” said Dougherty, who helped team USA win the World Cup last summer and has also been a top goalie at the college, professional and club levels. “But I am so thankful to be from Philly and honored to see that now Philadelphia has taken on Baltimore as the No. 2 hotbed and that more college recruiters are coming here.”
The eight inductees came from a wide range of backgrounds. One, Gail Cummings-Danson, grew up in Huntsville, Ontario in Canada and came to Temple University in the mid-1980s when Tina Sloan-Green was coaching one of the top programs in the country.
“To be associated with this outstanding group is truly humbling,” said Cummings-Danson, who helped the Owls win the 1988 National championship. “Growing up in Huntsville, Ontario, I would have never thought I’d be in this place today.
“It was my coaches (at Temple), Tina Sloan-Green and (then-assistant) Sue Stahl who pushed me and gave me the opportunity to excel. More importantly, they motivated me to shine as a person.”
One of the inductees, Krug, didn’t even play boys’ lacrosse in high school and later became one of the first men to coach girls’ lacrosse. He coached at Unionville for 33 years (1974-2006), winning 13 Ches-Mont League championships and two District 1 titles (1991-92).
Krug – who made a point to thank his mother, who was in attendance – said in an interview that he was honored and humbled to be inducted in a group that included dozens of legendary Philly girls’ coaches.
“I learned from them,” he said. “For instance, when I coached against (Hall of Famer) Kathleen Geiger (now a highly-regarded asisstant at Springfield-Delco) and I watched her team and what she did, I always learned one thing to make my team better.
“I did the same thing when I played against (Henderson’s) Kim Jackson and (Radnor’s) Phyllis Kilgour. I watched what their team did and I stole form them. Now I’m here – and it doesn’t make sense!”
Another inductee, former Ridley great Mike Busza, said he was privileged to play on a National Lacrosse League championship with the Philadelphia Wings and also to coach Radnor High after being hired almost right after graduating from Penn State.
“For me, lacrosse is the ultimate team game,” Busza said in his speech. “There is no better sense of accomplishment than when your team attains its goals and brings home a well-deserved victory.
“The most memorable season was winning my first National Lacrosse League championship in ’98 with the Wings.
“What made that team so special was that the majority of us were Philly guys. Playing with the likes of Scott Gabrielsen, Chris Flynn, John McEvoy, Billy Miller, Kevin Finneran, Chris Bates, Jake Bergey, Tom Slate, Greg Traynor, Matt Ogelsby and Dave Stilley – just to name a few – made me feel fortunate to be on a lot of great teams.”