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Meet Freedom Lacrosse Club co-founders Bob Miller and Kevin Goforth
Kevin Goforth. (Courtesy: Melissa Kiebort)

Meet Freedom Lacrosse Club co-founders Bob Miller and Kevin Goforth

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. — Bob Miller and Kevin Goforth were parent volunteers coaching their sons’ LYA lacrosse teams when the boys expressed interest in playing travel club. Both men had the same approach to developing young players and enjoyed working together. They decided to make a go at it to start a program and co-founded Philadelphia Freedom Lacrosse based in Downingtown. It started with four teams in 2012, and within a decade, their numbers increased to 450 players and 20 teams, with athletes coming from the Lehigh Valley, Delaware, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania.

Bob Miller. (Courtesy: Melissa Kiebort)

From its inception, it was important to Bob and Kevin that their club would provide each boy the opportunity to evolve into a strong competitive lacrosse player while maintaining the fun, team-driven environment that led them to love the sport early in their youth. They brought on enthusiastic, experienced coaches and Division 1 players to assist them. They placed Freedom teams in tournaments to match up with highly qualified competitive programs throughout the country. The two men made it a point to cultivate relationships and friendships that enhanced the players’ growth as an athlete and made available the best options for college recruitment if they decided on that path. However, in taking steps to create their own club, Bob and Kevin knew their values as coaches, fathers, and men would be just as important in their program.

“Respect is something we feel strongly about and preach to our members,” said Bob.”We continually preach: respect the game, coaches, teammates, officials, and competition, and be grateful for the opportunity you have been given. (You) are accountable for (your) behavior while representing Philadelphia Freedom Lacrosse. Also, respect and thank your parents, too.” Bob summarizes, “It will set them up for life.”

Kevin Goforth. (Courtesy: Melissa Kiebort)

As another integral part of their program philosophy, Bob and Kevin always want the memories of their club members to be that they had fun playing with a great group of fellow lacrosse players. “Lacrosse is a big fraternity and sorority, and these relationships will last a lifetime. We would love for these kids to have a great experience playing the game and developing these long-lasting friendships while also seeing the value of hard work and the rewards those bring in the game and outside the game.”

Leading and coaching Philadelphia Freedom Lacrosse teams has also rewarded Bob and Kevin with many wonderful memories. They enjoy and appreciate the friendships made, especially with the families who make the experience fun, which leads to an enduring club program. They cherish quality time with all the boys they have mentored, including their sons, and now that they are older, they have come back to be coaches themselves. “Helping hundreds of players over the years achieve the goal of playing college lacrosse at all levels has been awesome,” shares Bob. “There is nothing better than when we have a player call us and let us know that they have committed somewhere to play college lacrosse!”

As one of our Philadelphia area sports travel clubs with the greatest longevity, it seemed inevitable that Freedom Lacrosse evolved to add a female division of teams in the past three years. The co-founders had been asked about adding girl’s teams as part of Philadelphia Freedom Lacrosse several times but didn’t ignite the idea. Then a group of parents who already had sons involved as players approached them and offered to help. Kevin’s daughter, Hannah Goforth, a Villanova alumna women’s lacrosse player, returned to the area and agreed to coach. The timing felt right, and they used the same successful model they put in place to build the boys’ program. Freedom Lacrosse started with four girls’ teams and has grown to nine teams for the 2022-2023 season. They are already excited to reach the day when their first young lady commits to playing college lacrosse!

Even years after their time participating in the LYA program and their kids have grown, the two have a blast coaching, often together, while competing against some of the best teams in the nation and the success that comes with it. “We have never been in it for the money as we both have day jobs. We are passionate about developing our players on and off the field to be great young men and women.” Both still find it rewarding to bring along young players from their very beginning. Kevin just took on a team of young boys who will graduate in 2030 and is excited to be with them at the start through their many years of playing.”

Every sports travel club team has a goal invested to achieve competitive excellence for their athletes, but that doesn’t always lead to a program’s longstanding success. The difference for Philadelphia Freedom Lacrosse may be Kevin and Bob’s added emphasis on values of respect, life enrichment, the reward for hard work, and incorporation of family that has led to its enduring program. They also keep close to the advice they once received when starting Freedom: “It is not about the wins or losses but about developing great young men and women.”

This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.

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