A Native American has never won the Tewaaraton Award, presented annually to the best male and female collegiate lacrosse players in the country. But Lyle Thompson, Onondaga Nation, could be the first.
The 13th Annual Tewaaraton Award will be given out tonight, May 30, at a gala celebration held in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of the American Indian. Thompson is the first Native finalist, and he's up against four outstanding players for the recognition.
Thompson, only a sophmore at the University at Albany, led the nation in scoring this season, racking up 113 points on 50 goals and 63 assists, which was two points shy of breaking the all-time NCAA record set by Steve Marahol (114 points in 1992). He was the nation’s leader in points per game with 6.65, which is the 13th highest points per game for an individual in NCAA history. In addition to being named the America East Player of the Year and a First Team All-American, Thompson earned the 2013 United States Inside Lacrosse Association Lt. Col. J.L. (Jack) Turnbull Award, annually presented to the NCAA Division I best attackman.
Here are brief bios of the other four finalists for the men's 2013 Tewaaraton Award (click here for a statistical chart comparing the players):
Marcus Holman recorded an ACC-best 74 points in the regular season, becoming North Carolina’s all- time leading scorer in the process. His 4.93 points per game rank fourth nationally. A senior attackman from Baltimore, Md., Holman was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, first-team All-ACC and the ACC Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
JoJo Marasco, the 2013 Big East Midfielder of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection, paced Syracuse in points (53) and assists (35) during the regular season, the latter breaking Paul Gait’s program record. A senior from Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Marasco led the Orange to the top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
2011 Tewaaraton Award finalist Rob Pannell ranks third and fourth in the nation in points (5.36) and assists (2.93) per game, respectively. A senior from Smithtown, N.Y., Pannell earned Ivy League Player of the Year and first-team All-Ivy honors. He is currently the third-leading scorer in men’s Division I history (332 points), and holds the Cornell and Ivy League all-time scoring records.
Midfielder Tom Schreiber led Princeton in scoring for a third consecutive season, tallying a team-best 32 assists and 60 points. A junior from East Meadow, N.Y., Schreiber earned his third first-team All-Ivy League selection and recorded at least three points in every contest this season, ranking second and third in the Ivy League in assists (2.13) and points (4.00) per game, respectively.
One thing that makes Thompson's time even more special at UAlbany is that he gets to play with family: Brother Miles and cousin Ty. The Thompson Trio was a special attack group overall. Lyle, Miles and Ty tallied the nation’s highest point total as a starting attack group with 259 points. The next closest attacking group is Cornell’s Rob Pannell (see above, an award finalist), Steve Mock and Matt Donovan with 196. Both Miles and Ty were named Honorable Mention All-Americans.
Meet the Thompson Trio in the following two videos.
First presented in 2001, the Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. Endorsed by the Mohawk Nation Council of Elders and US Lacrosse, the Tewaaraton Award symbolizes lacrosse’s centuries-old roots in Native American heritage. The Tewaaraton Foundation ensures the integrity and advances the mission of this award. Each year, the Tewaaraton Award celebrates one of the six tribal nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora – and presents scholarships to two students of Iroquois descent. To learn more about the Tewaaraton Foundation, visit Tewaaraton.com.