PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia showed itself this weekend, welcoming the US Lacrosse Convention and Fan Fest (LaxCon) back to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the first time in five years.

LaxCon offered something for everyone in the lacrosse community, and coaches, officials, leaders and fans seemingly consumed it all as the event drew 7,385 participants. The figure includes a record 2,915 for Saturday’s Fan Fest.

More than 150 speakers presented on topics ranging from strategies and tactics to rules and philosophy. With the start of the spring season just around the corner in some areas, education remains a key component of providing players positive experiences in lacrosse.

The sampling of LaxCon content below reinforces how much of a staple LaxCon has become, perhaps best summed up by Duke University and U.S. men’s team coach John Danowski.

Are You a Sculptor?

Two-time Olympic gold medal winning goalie Briana Scurry of the U.S. women’s soccer team vividly recalls the moment when the dream was born.

It was February 1980, and 8-year-old Briana was watching the ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey game, seated between her mom and dad in their home in Minnesota. Inspired as she watched the U.S. men’s hockey team pull off the improbable upset against the heavily-favored Russian team, Briana told them “I want to be an Olympian.”

Sharing her story Saturday morning as the keynote speaker at the US Lacrosse Convention, the sport’s largest professional development conference and trade show, she recounted the impact of key “sculptors” in her life who helped make her dream come true.

Scurry, a four-sport athlete in high school and a collegiate All-American at UMass, noted the influence of three coaches in particular. She cited her high school coach, David Tank, her college coach, Jim Rudy, and the U.S. soccer team’s goalie coach, Tony DiCicco.

She credited DiCicco with helping her to understand that responding positively to setbacks and challenges is critical to success.

“It’s all about your attitude,” she told the audience, while showing them her gold medals from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Her journey also included the memorable 1999 FIFA World Cup, with the U.S. playing against China in the final game before more than 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in California.

Considered a seminal moment in American women’s sports history, the teams battled to a 0-0 tie through extra time. Scurry’s diving save in the shootout round helped Team USA to the 5-4 shootout victory.

Briana Scurry and Mike Cather
Michael Cather, chief relationship officer at US Lacrosse, presents two-time Olympic gold medalist Briana Scurry with a wood lacrosse stick after her inspiring keynote address.

“Everyone who coaches and teaches is a sculptor, so ask yourself, are you sculpting for greatness,” Scurry told the audience of coaches, officials, and program leaders. “You are the steward of their dreams. Be the one that they remember.”

Prior to Scurry’s presentation, US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen offered opening remarks and introduced two national awards.

Lt. Brendan Looney, a Navy SEAL and a 2004 Naval Academy graduate, was posthumously named as the winner of the Peter Kohn Award, awarded annually by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). The former Naval Academy lacrosse player was one of the nine U.S. troops killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2010. He was the oldest of three brothers who played lacrosse at Navy.

Scott Growney, president emeritus of the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association, was the winner of the US Lacrosse Homer R. Schwartz Chapter Leadership Award.

More Highlights

 

#LaxCon2020 is set for Jan. 10-12, 2020, in Philadelphia. Ticket sales are expected to begin around Labor Day.

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