<By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/6/12
Brian Kilpatrick had a unique challenge last year when he was named head boys’ lacrosse coach at Pope John Paul II, a mew school in western Montgomery County that was comprised of many students from two other schools that closed, St. Pius X and Kennedy-Kenrick.
St. Pius had fielded lacrosse for just one year and Kennedy-Kenrick’s program had ended after 2010. So Kilpatrick had to merge players from two programs that had limited success and experience.
Kilpatrick resigned this week as Golden Panthers coach due to personal reasons. But he looked back on the 2011 season as a success after Pope John Paul II won three games and ended the year with an 11-7 victory over Monsignor Bonner.
“There were a lot of positives,” said Kilpatrick, who said time constraints were a major reason for his decision. “These guys were coming from two programs with zero track record of success.
“They caught on very quickly and got involved in the off season program. There were a core of guys that really worked hard from the fall straight through to the spring. Hopefully, they learned what it takes to get better.
“There was a lot of fundamentals and they have the work ethic to keep improving. They have a hunger and now they got a little taste of winning. I think it will carry over to next season.”
Kilpatrick had coached at Lansdale Catholic for three years – one of them in the Pioneer Athletic Conference. He said the league has improved drastically in recent years and was pleased that Pope John Paul II earned one league victory. He believes the program can continue to grow with the league.
“There is no question that the depth of the league is showing now,” he said. “It was a challenge and I knew it would be one coming in.
“I really didn’t know how big a challenge it would be. It was frustrating at times, but also we had a lot of good times. We took our lumps against some of the good teams, but the guys really kept it into perspective and stayed on it until the end to finish off the last game.
“These guys had never won a game in high school coming in and that was a challenge for me. But I enjoyed it and I had fun working with them. They were so eager and it was great to make something form scratch.
“I wish the players at PJP all the best in their future and I know that they will continue to build upon what we started in our inaugural season.”
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