Air Force Lacrosse Holds Annual Awards Banquet
May 8, 2008
USAFA, Colo. - Several members of the Air Force lacrosse team were honored Wednesday evening as the Falcons held their annual awards banquet. Capturing the team's top award as most valuable player was senior captain Lukas Fisher.
Fisher, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, has played three different positions throughout his career and started at close defense for the past two seasons. The most experienced player on a defensive line which has included a pair of rookies in goal, Fisher finished the season as one of the team leaders in caused turnovers. Fisher was also named the Falcons' most valuable defensive player this season and received the Strength and Conditioning Award for the second consecutive year.
Earning offensive MVP honors was three-time All-GWLL selection Griffin Nevitt. The junior from Charlotte, N.C., led Air Force with 24 points on the year, recording a team-best 18 goals and six assists. The team's leading scorer for the second-straight season and the leading goal scorer for the third straight season, Nevitt has tallied at least one goal or assist in 38 out of 40 games in his career. He was also named to the Pioneer Face-Off Classic team for the third-consecutive season and was one of two Falcons to score a man-down goal this year. Nevitt was also the recipient of the Falcons' Golden Glove Award for the second-straight season.
The Rookie of the Year award went to freshman Bryan Gilbreath, who played all 12 games this year at close defense, starting 11. The Bainbridge Island, Wash., native ranked third on the team in ground balls with 38 and scored two goals this year, including a man-down goal, the first of the season for the Falcons.
The most improved offensive player award was shared by seniors David Rose and Jack Parchman. Rose, a native of Allentown, Pa., entered the 2008 season with two career goals, but exploded for 16 goals in his senior campaign. His five goals in the season-opener against Providence included the game-winner in overtime. Rose finished the season with 21 points, ranking second on the team. Meanwhile, Parchman, a converted midfielder, moved into the starting lineup at attack this season and improved his offensive output as well. The Baltimore, Md., native finished the year with seven goals and five assists, ranking third on the team with 12 points.
Sharing most improved defensive player honors were juniors Dan Gnazzo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and David Mackintosh (Manlius, N.Y.). Gnazzo, a three-year starter at the long-stick midfield position, earned first-team All-GWLL honors this season after being named to the second team in 2007. Named to the all-tournament team at the Pioneer Face-Off Classic for a second straight year, Gnazzo also gave the team an offensive boost, finishing the year with three goals and four assists. The recipient of the Hoover Award, given to the player who picks up the most ground balls, Gnazzo scooped up 64 ground balls on the season, ranking among the top 10 in the nation in that category with 5.33 per game.
Meanwhile, Mackintosh has been a starter at close defense for the past two seasons and ranks among the team leaders in both ground balls and caused turnovers. Mackintosh was also a recipient of the 100% Award, bestowed upon the players who give their all every time they step on the field. Sharing the award with Mackintosh was sophomore Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas), who saw a greater amount of playing time in his second season, ending the year ranked fourth on the team with nine points (seven goals, two assists).
Earning the Top Dog Face-Off Award was senior Reilly Smith (Scaggsville, Md.). Smith's performance at the face-off X improved dramatically over the second half of the season, as he won .612 of his face-offs in the final five games of the regular season. Even more impressive was the fact that his improvement came against some of the top face-off teams in the country, including top-ranked Notre Dame. Smith ended the season ranked 25th in the nation in face-off win percentage at .534.
Also honored on Wednesday was senior Clayton Cruickshank (Rockford, Mich.), who was named the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award. Cruickshank, who began his career as a walk-on, has served as the back-up goalkeeper for the past four years and earned a pair of starts this season. Cruickshank was also honored with the Pace Weber Award, which is presented yearly as a tribute to C1C Pace Weber, who perished along with his instructor in a T-3 flight training accident here at the Academy. Voted on by members of the varsity team, the recipient is an individual associated with the Air Force lacrosse team who most exemplifies the characteristics by which Pace Weber lived his life.
In addition to honoring this year's captains, Fisher and Kevin Crumrine (Sr., Edgewater, Md.), the coaching staff also announced the captains for next season. Nevitt and Mackintosh will take over captain duties for the 2009 season.
2008 Air Force Lacrosse Awards