May 21, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Head coach Joe Alberici and the Army lacrosse family bid farewell to 12 graduating seniors and distributed 11 team awards at the program's year-end banquet on Sunday afternoon at West Point's Kimsey Athletic Center.
Alberici spent the bulk of the time highlighting the contributions of his 12 seniors. The seventh-year mentor focused on the group's outstanding character and the way each individual represented the Academy throughout a four-year stay on the banks of the Hudson. In addition, he remarked each senior player "saved their best for last" this spring.
The Class of 2012, which will be commissioned during graduation exercises this Saturday, May 26, at Michie Stadium, recorded an unprecedented five wins over rival Navy and helped the Black Knights to their only Patriot League Tournament title in 2010.
Along with large spread of food and drinks, provided by the Lacrosse Parents' Club, a room full of family, players and support staff gathered as Major "A" letters were presented to each athlete by position. Following the presentation of the Army "A" awards, Alberici continued with the official distribution of the team's Player of the Game certificates, along with the mention of five All-Patriot League players. He also recognized senior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson as the 2012 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and junior close defenseman Brendan Buckley as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year - Army's fourth in the last five years.
The program then turned to celebrating the senior class as Alberici recounted anecdotes and relived highlights of all 12 senior careers. He then presented each of them with a commemorative framed action photo, knife, watch, polo and mug commemorating the team's 9-6 victory over Navy on April 14.
The program followed with the presentation of 11 team awards, which are listed below.
Lt. Ray Enners Memorial Alumni Saber Award
Awarded for picking up the most ground balls in the Army-Navy game
Presented by Assistant Coach Mac Diange to Derek Sipperly
Charles H. Coates Top Graduating Student-Athlete Award
Awarded for excellence in the classroom
Presented by Lt. Col. Charles Coates to James MacGibbon
Gen. L. E. Seeman Memorial Award
Awarded to the most outstanding freshman
Presented by Tyler Kamide to John Glesener
Morris Touchstone Coaches Award
Awarded for team spirit and personal sacrifice
Presented by Head Coach Joe Alberici to seniors Shane Finlay, Brian LoRusso and Conor Hayes
Gen. George Ruhlen Award
Awarded to the Most Improved Player
Presented by Brendan Buckley to Derek Sipperly
Steve S. Valhakis Unsung Player Award
Presented by Head Coach Joe Alberici to Zach Palmieri
Gerard F. O'Connor Memorial Award
Awarded to an individual for the best cadet support
Presented by Head Coach Joe Alberici to Alex Brammer (student assistant coach)
Lt. Ray Enners/Chris Pettit Memorial Award
Awarded to the Top Offensive Player
Presented by Assistant Coach Mac Diange to Garrett Thul
Jack Emmer "Nutcracker" Award
Awarded to the team's Most Physical Player
Presented by Head Coach Joe Alberici to Garrett Thul
Jack Rust Award
Awarded to the Top Defensive Player
Presented by Assistant Coach Kyle Georgalas to Tim Henderson and Brendan Buckley
Gen. James V. Hartinger Award
Awarded to the team's Most Valuable Player
Presented by Head Coach Joe Alberici to Devin Lynch