Without a Cow Plop in 2021, we were a little delayed in presenting this year’s award and had to modify how we did so. After meeting individually throughout the week to congratulate all the applicants, on Thursday, July 1st, Eric Lengel, Justin Lengel, Eric Parente, Mike McGinn, Christy Pappas, and previous recipients, Cooper McDannald (2018) and Jake Pappas (2019), presented Will Gillin with this year’s award in the presence of his mom and dad (Dawn and Ed) and proud little brother, Luke.
This award is about our Avon Grove Lacrosse family and celebrating the love and support we have provided for each other over the years. Avon Grove Lacrosse is more than just a game of wins & loses. It is about families coming together to better the community through youth sports. Amy exemplified this belief. Despite battling breast cancer for nearly every year her sons were active in Avon Grove Lacrosse, Amy approached her days with a positive spirit, an infectious smile, and she always maintained the energy to cheer for all the kids on the field. In return, the Avon Grove community reciprocated that spirit with transportation for the kids, meals for the family, donations, even yard work, and housework. Amy was always there for the Avon Grove community, and the community was there for the Lengels.
In 2016, within a year of Amy’s passing, Avon Grove Lacrosse was contacted by a generous member of the community. The community member’s son had played within the AGL youth program and had an exceptional experience. The experience was one for his son that not only provided growth as a lacrosse player but, more importantly to the donor, shaped his son into an exceptional young man. His son was taught the values of sportsmanship, fellowship, and respect for the game. In honor of Amy, the donor established the award in her name. The donor remains anonymous, but the family continues to be grateful for their generous support.
Each spring, a selection committee, including family members, selects an 8th-grade boy to receive this award. The recipient is one who plans to continue playing lacrosse at the high school level and exemplifies the values that the program works to instill in all those involved.
After this year’s application and interview process, it became evident from coaches, teammates, and the selection committee that Will embodies “the qualities valued by Amy & Avon Grove Lacrosse: Sportsmanship, Leadership, Respect, Community, Courage, R.O.O.T.S” on the field, in the classroom and through volunteer work in the greater community.
Congratulations to Will and to all the applicants who set a very high bar and are all excellent representatives of our community. Will received a monetary award and will also be outfitted with an Avon Grove High School team helmet, team gloves, and equipment bag to help him on his journey into high school.