By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/16/10
BALTIMORE – More than 5,000 coaches, officials and lacrosse enthusiasts are attending the US Lacrosse National Convention here at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The second day of the two-day event was highlighted this morning with the presentation of the Boys’ Youth Coach of the Year to Lower Bucks Lacrosse’s Paul Deppi. Deppi was one of the coaches honored at a special breakfast this morning by US Lacrosse and its Youth Council. In all, seven individuals were recipients of the 2009 Youth Excellence Awards.
Deppi helped found Lower Bucks Lacrosse 17 years ago and has been coaching fifth- and sixth-grade teams ever since. A graduate of Council Rock High, Deppi also is a 12-year veteran of the police force of Newtown Township.
“The kids are fascinated that I am a police office, but I try to humble myself to make sure they know to be on the good side of the law and that they represent their area and their sport,’ Deppi said. “To hear some of the other persons nominated and their commitment to the game, I was humbled to be honored with them.”
Another Philly lacrosse name casting his shadow at the Convention is National Team goalie and Penn assistant coach Brian Dougherty, who is one of many National team members on hand. Dougherty, an Episcopal Academy graduate and former Maryland great who also starred for the Philadelphia Barrage, is anxious to help the US regain the world championship from Canada this summer in the world field championships in Manchester, England.
“This is the first time we (the national team members) have gotten together since they picked the team and this is the first time I’m actually thinking six months ahead,” said Dougherty. “Just saying that right now is giving me chills. It’s playing for your country – whether it’s badminton or horseshoes or darts or lacrosse, which I have been doing my whole life.
“It’s the greatest honor you can have; and now throw the fact in that we’re underdogs and we lost (to Canada in 2006), it gives me more chills. I want to be the guy that brings it (the championship) back to our country.”
Friday night’s highlight was keynote speaker Lou Holtz, the former football coach at Notre Dame and now an analyst for ESPN. Holtz spoke about setting goals and preaching good values. His message was that if you want to be happy for a lifetime, coach young people.
US Lacrosse also released some numbers on lacrosse participation in the United States. There were more than 524,000 lacrosse players in 2008 (2009 stats will be released in a month), an increase of 9.1 percent from 2007. Lacrosse remains the fastest growing team sport in the country, US Lacrosse said.