May 8, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy men’s lacrosse team held its annual team banquet Saturday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium where it honored the Mids’ eight senior members while also recognizing this year’s major award winners, including sophomore long pole Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) who was presented the Lt. Robert T. Bianchi Award as the team’s most valuable player.
First-year assistant coach and 2000 graduate of the Naval Academy Mickey Jarboe presented the evening’s first award. Jarboe, who amassed more than 700 saves as a two-time Kelly Award winner in 1999 and 2000, presented senior goalkeeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) with the 2012 Coach Willis P. Bilderback Award as Navy’s outstanding defensive player. A two-time First-Team All-Patriot League goalkeeper, Wickham was sensational in the cage this season where he produced an 8.87 goals-against average and a 57.0 save percentage. He is also ranked ninth nationally in saves per game, stopping 11.25 shots per game. He graduates sixth on the Mids’ all-time career saves list with 479, tallying the most saves since Jarboe set the school record in 2000.
Kiernan picked up the first of his two awards when first-year assistant coach Ryan Wellner presented him with the Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Award as Navy’s outstanding midfielder. A 2012 Second-Team All-Patriot League specialist, Kiernan did it all for the Midshipmen whether it was scoring, causing turnovers, picking up ground balls or facing off, he stepped up to every challenge. With 10 points on seven goals and three assists, he was Navy’s sixth-leading scorer and was the nation’s second-leading scoring defenseman this spring. Despite missing two games early in the season, he finished the year ranked second in caused turnovers with 14 and third in ground balls with 36. Additionally, he won eight of the 17 draws he took over the last four games of the season.
For a second-straight season, sophomore attackmen Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) shared the distinction as the winners of the Coach William H. “Dinty” Moore Award presented to Navy’s outstanding offensive player. Hull garnered Second-Team All-Patriot League honors after pacing the Mids with 47 points on 23 goals and 24 assists. It’s the most points scored by a Navy player since 2006 (Jon Birsner, 54 pts). He also gained the distinction of becoming just one of three players in the program’s 105-year history to produce three eight-point games in a season, punching in eight against VMI, Lafayette and Holy Cross. Producing a point in 23 of the 25 games over the course of his two-year career, he finished the season ranked 13th nationally in points per game (3.92) and 10th in assists per game (2.00)
Producing 31 points on 18 goals and 13 assists, Jones answered the call in the big games this spring. A third generation player for the Mids, Jones scored three goals and dealt out two assists against Colgate, scoring the game-winner with just 3.4 seconds left in the game. Meanwhile, he punched in three goals and added an assist in Navy’s 8-2 rout over sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins to close out the year. Jones has registered points in 22 of the 25 games in which he’s played, including the Mids’ first nine-point performance (5G, 4A vs. VMI) since 1991 (Dennis Nealon vs. Washington College).
As a former winner of the Vice Adm. E.C. Waller Award, it seemed appropriate that first-year assistant coach J.L. Reppert present senior defenseman Jay Darling (Fort Collins, Colo.) with this year’s award. The Waller Award is presented to that player who displays spirit, morale and dedication throughout the year and is presented with an engraved watch at the Prizes and Awards Ceremony during Commissioning Week. Darling was lauded for his “whatever it takes” mentality to help prepare the team for its next opponent, sacrificing self for the betterment of the team.
Head coach Rick Sowell presented this year’s Lt. Brendan Looney Award to junior defensive midfielder Cade Norris (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) and senior co-captain Taylor Reynolds (Babylon, N.Y.). By a vote of his peers and the coaching staff, Norris was selected to wear jersey No. 40 this season in honor of Looney after “leading the team by example, displaying mental and physical toughness and showing dedication to his teammates” throughout the fall season. Sowell also pointed to Reynolds’ exceptional leadership both on and off the field over the course of the year as an invaluable resource for his teammates and the coaching staff.
The final award of the evening, the Lt. Robert T. Bianchi Award, was presented to Kiernan as the team’s most valuable player.
Sowell concluded the evening by acknowledging Navy’s seniors - Ian Crumley, Jay Darling, Nikk Davis, A.J. Herrera (Mgr), co-captain Taylor Reynolds, Matt Vernam, co-captain Logan West, RJ Wickham - thanking them for their leadership, guidance and commitment to the program throughout their careers but especially this season.
### Go Navy ###