May 16, 2012
USAFA, Colo. - Several members of the Air Force lacrosse team were honored Tuesday evening at the Falcons' annual awards banquet. Earning the team's top award as most valuable player was senior captain Dayton Gilbreath.
Gilbreath, a native of Bainbridge Island, Wash., a two-time defensive MVP for the Falcons, was a first-team All-ECAC selection on defense this season, making him just the third player in program history to be named a four-time all-conference honoree. A four-year starter, Gilbreath has been responsible for shutting down the opponents' top scorer throughout his career. This season, he recorded a career-best 32 ground balls, while also registering eight caused turnovers.
Sharing Rookie of the Year honors were freshmen Keith Dreyer (Malvern, Pa.) and Kyle O'Brien (Denver, Colo.), who were also named the Falcons' offensive MVP and defensive MVP, respectively. Dreyer led Air Force in 2012 with 46 points on the season, including a team-best 27 assists. His 46 points were the most in a single-season for an Air Force player since 1998, while his 27 assists are tied for the most in a single season since the Falcons moved to a full Division I schedule. In addition, Dreyer, who was named to the ECAC All-Rookie team, led all freshman nationally in points (3.54) and assists (2.08) per game.
Meanwhile, as the Falcons' top long-stick midfielder, O'Brien led the team in caused turnovers with 17, while also making an impact on offense, scoring nine points (3g, 6a) on the year, a mark which ranked fifth-most nationally among long poles. In addition, O'Brien was one of the team leaders in ground balls, sharing the Ground Ball Award with sophomore midfielder Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.).
Garnering Most Improved honors was sophomore Tommy McKee (Holt, Mich.). McKee, who started in all 13 games for the Falcons at attack, finished the year with 30 points (23g, 7a), doubling his offensive output from 2011. McKee's 23 goals ranks second on the team this season, while his 30 points were third-most for the Falcons.
Sophomore Bryan Price (Denver, Colo.) was the recipient of the Face-Off Award in his first season with the Falcons. Price, who took over primary face-off duties midway through the season, finished the year with a 51.2 win percentage at the face-off X. Price, who earned ECAC All-Rookie accolades as a specialist, also ranked third on the team with 40 ground balls on the season.
Earning the Falcons' Unsung Hero Award, granted to the player who contributes most to the team's success without getting the recognition, was freshman Davis Gunter (Littleton, Colo.). Gunter started all 13 games on defense for the Falcons in his rookie campaign, en route to earning a spot on the ECAC All-Rookie team. Gunter picked up 21 ground balls on the year and ranked second on the team with 14 caused turnovers.
Senior captain John Krzyminski (Cincinnati, Ohio) was the recipient of the Iron Bolt Award, given to the athlete who demonstrates the highest commitment to the strength and conditioning program. Krzyminski 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 team, the recipient is an individual who most exemplifies the characteristics by which Pace Weber lived his life.
2012 Air Force Lacrosse Awards
MVP: Dayton Gilbreath
MVP Offense: Keith Dreyer
MVP Defense: Kyle O'Brien
Rookie of the Year: Keith Dreyer/Kyle O'Brien
Most Improved: Tommy McKee
Ground Ball Award: Kyle O'Brien/Erik Smith
Face-Off Award: Bryan Price
Unsung Hero Award: Davis Gunter
Iron Bolt Award: John Krzyminski
Pace Weber Award: John Krzyminski