I’ve written recently about Rachel Lavoy receiving Academic All American recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) but it was just an announcement at the time. Well, last weekend it was a convention, and an awards dinner, with thousands of coaches and players in attendance. Ms. Lavoy spent a long weekend in Philadelphia, traveling with her family and the coaching staff from Kickapoo HS. I’ll let her tell the story…
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America holds a convention every year that consists of coaching clinics, seminars, and a luncheon honoring the All-Americans. The four day convention was in Philadelphia this year. It was the largest ever with 7500 coaches in attendance.
My mom, brother, and I left for Philly on Friday morning. Once in Philly, we saw coaches everywhere. Our hotel was filled with coaches, as were the streets and nearby restaurants. I even saw Anson Dorrance, Head Coach at the University of North Carolina. On Saturday morning I checked in and got my tickets for the All-American luncheon. Much to my surprise I received a free warm-up jacket and two t-shirts!
Next, we were off to the exhibit hall. A massive room was filled corner to corner with booths for everything you can imagine related to soccer. There were even a few companies from England trying to get started in the U.S. Nike, Adidas, and Puma were showing their new shoes and gear. My brother and I managed to get some free soccer items!
That afternoon we met up with Coach Davidson, Coach Hodge, and Coach Hines and walked to the All-American luncheon. It was sold out with 1700 people. Some very good speakers started off the luncheon including the menâ€™s coach at Southern Methodist University and the University of Illinois coach who talked about the importance of carrying what you learn on the field to outside the white lines. The honorary All-American, Jon Stewart, from Comedy Centralâ€™s â€œThe Daily Showâ€ spoke. He played soccer at William and Mary several years ago. Then awards for the high school and college Scholar All-America and All-Americas were given out. They announced our names individually and we were congratulated by Jon Stewart. It was a really neat experience and I would like to thank my coaches (Coach Davidson, Coach Hodge, Coach Hines, Jeremy Alumbaugh, and Marcus Kelcher), my family, and the many others who have helped and supported me over the years.
The rest of the trip my family and I spent doing the educational stuff: visiting the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Ben Franklinâ€™s House, and a few museums! Oh, and of course, trying a Philly cheese steak sandwich!
Who would have guessed that Jon Stewart played the beautiful game? What a treat. He’s got to be older then Ann Cook though, although who knows, maybe they crossed paths on the pitch at William & Mary where Ann was an All American. Another story to consider eh? Oh, and rumor has it that there’s a picture floating around from the Convention of Davidson, Howard and Rogers hanging out and everyone’s smiling! If I could only get my hands on that one.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us Rachel. Congrats once again. Now put down the sandwich and let’s get ready for the upcoming Spring season 🙂