BALTIMORE — US Lacrosse named the six winners of its 2013 Youth Awards, which were awarded during the US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The awards are given to honor contributors to youth lacrosse around the country.
A complete listing of awards and honorees are as follows:
Girls' Youth Coach of the Year
Lindsey Anderson – Newcastle, Wash.
Given to an outstanding youth girls’ coach who embodies the characteristics of an ideal coach supporting the US Lacrosse mission and vision, dedicating him or herself to his or her players and providing the best possible lacrosse experience for everyone involved. For the past five years, Lindsey Anderson has been coaching and mentoring girls playing for the Queen Anne Quick Styx (QAQS) Girls' Youth Lacrosse Club in Washington. She volunteers numerous hours coaching practices, tournaments and games in addition to serving on the program's board. She is the QAQS Under-15 head coach and is a mentor to the U13 and U11 coaches. In his nomination letter, QAQS Director George Bergeron wrote, "She is always the first one to arrive at practices and games, and inevitably the last one to leave. Every practice she is prepared with a plan and goals to achieve. She does not discuss win/loss records, but focuses on what has been learned and developed during a game or season."
Boys’ Youth Coach of the Year
Scott Peeler – Springboro, Ohio
Given to an outstanding youth boys’ coach who embodies the characteristics of an ideal coach supporting US Lacrosse mission and vision, dedicating him or herself to his or her players and providing the best possible lacrosse experience for everyone involved. Over the last six years, Scott Peeler has helped foster the growth of the Springboro (Ohio) Lacrosse Club and its players. In addition to coaching the third and fourth grades teams, he requested and received the director of youth development position through which he meets regularly with the other youth coaches to help them improve as coaches. In his nomination letter, John Stachler, a parent of a current player, wrote, "The energy that Scott has provided the program [as director of youth development] also follows him on the field. I have never observed a coach put as much energy in truly teaching kids what the game is lacrosse is about."
Program Administrator of the Year
David Stickler – Wrightsville, Pa. (Posthumous)
Given to an outstanding administrator of a league or program who runs a program of excellence that upholds the mission and vision of US Lacrosse. Involved in the sport for many years, David Stickler spent the 2012 fall and 2013 spring lacrosse season in a new role as a program administrator for the Eastern Knights Lacrosse (EKL) program. Before passing away fall 2013, Stickler accomplished an extensive list of tasks including: running preseason meetings with parents and players, recruiting and training coaches, promoted and hosted clinics players clinics, set up registration process, collected fees, paid bills, ordered equipment and uniforms, scheduled officials, and much more. In his nomination letter, Bob Rhein, former EKL program administrator and current boys' head coach at Eastern York (Pa.) High School, wrote, "What really sets David apart from the others is he invested a tremendous amount of time helping to raise the funds necessary for our high school to have lacrosse this spring. He started the EKL Foundation by completing all the required paperwork to qualify as a 501(c)3 charitable organization. I cannot think of one area that think of one area that David did not positively contribute this spring and I can say that had he not stepped forward to assume this role, our high school program would have never gotten off the ground, our youth program would have folded and six years of growth would have evaporated."
Excellence in Growing the Game
Art Newsome – Omaha, Neb.
Given to an individual who supports the US Lacrosse mission and vision, working effectively and tirelessly to develop lacrosse in a particular geographic area. Three years ago, Art Newsome embarked on a mission to grow lacrosse in Nebraska. He started by taking over the fledgling program and officially incorporating the Omaha Lacrosse Club (OLC) as a nonprofit organization in October 2011. The 2012 spring season was the first and through heavy marketing and other efforts, Newsome increased total participation from 90 players to 259 in his first year. In 2013, his efforts resulted in another 41 participants. Other notables include assisting in building fall ball lacrosse, increasing the lacrosse presence at the Cornhusker State Games (Nebraska's annual state competition for amateur athletics) by 81 percent, and bringing multiple developmental camps and clinics for players and coaches, including two US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program clinics that trained 114 coaches. In his nomination letter, Mike McRoberts, a coach with the OLC, wrote, "Art and his wife, Gwen, have been the face of youth lacrosse in Nebraska, leading through principled responsiveness and unbridled passion for the game to make the Omaha Lacrosse Club the model of success for up-and-coming programs in the Midwest. He has laid the foundational work to ensure lacrosse is a permanent fixture as a spring sport in Nebraska, both for this generation of lacrosse players and for those to follow."
One for All
Avery Collins – Trumbull, Conn.
Given to a young adult who has volunteered unselfishly of his or her time and talent to help grow and build lacrosse awareness. This individual must be a US Lacrosse member who thoroughly embodies the mission and vision of US Lacrosse. He or she is typically a person who has volunteered time, while balancing a busy schedule, to mentor others and give back to the sport. For the past two years, Avery Collins has volunteer coached with Trumbull (Conn.) Youth Lacrosse with multiple age groups. She was a student assistant coach to the girls' under-13 team, the head coach of the U7 program, and volunteered with the non-travel team practices, all while meeting the demands of being a member of the Trumbull High School varsity lacrosse team. In his recommendation letter, Ted Chase, the vice president and director of the girls' program for Trumbull Youth Lacrosse, wrote, "For the past two years, I have found Avery to be incredibly selfless with her time, extremely dedicated to the sport, a positive role model and mentor to our young players, a strong leader amongst her peers, and an excellent and committed student."
Al Sadtler – Charlottesville, Va.
This is a unique award given to someone who has founded a program, product or idea that has staying power within the sport. This individual has a positive impact on the youth game and/or its constituents and must be a current US Lacrosse member who thoroughly embraces the mission and vision of US Lacrosse. This award may or may not be awarded annually, pending qualified nominations. Sadtler, a former player at the University of Virginia and a highly-regarded official that worked eight NCAA championship games, has played a huge role in developing youth lacrosse in Central Virginia. In 1987, he founded the Seminole Lacrosse League and the program continues to thrive, with more than 750 kids participating last year. The program has continued to expand and now includes summer lacrosse leagues, a boys' middle school league and travel teams. "As lacrosse has grown and changed over the decades, Seminole Lacrosse has been the one constant in the Charlottesville area for learning and teaching the game of lacrosse," said Hugh Ewing, a member of the Executive Committee for Seminole Lacrosse. "It has never been about (Al) or for anything else but to provide youngsters the opportunity to learn about the game of lacrosse and have the chance to participate and play the game."
US Lacrosse is accepting applications for the 2014 Youth Awards starting February 1. For more information about the Youth Awards, visit: uslacrosse.org/YouthAwards.
Photo Credit: John Strohsacker