After a strong 17–1–2 regular season that saw the team finish first in the Mid-East Division, and a playoff run that culminated with a loss to the Akwesasne Indians in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League, the Green Gaels players and staff have had time to reflect on both the positives and negatives of the 2012 season, as well as look forward to 2013. The team had a chance to get back together over the holidays as the annual Christmas and Awards Banquet was held at the Thornton Arms Pub & Grill in Oshawa. As is tradition, the Gaels handed out their annual player awards. They also presented the three league awards won by Green Gaels players in 2012.
Dylan Goddard was the most decorated Green Gaels member of the evening. Coach Jason Crosbie and Assistant Coaches Joel Johnson and Brad MacArthur presented Goddard with both the OLA Jr. B Eastern Conference MVP Award as well as the OLA Jr. B Eastern Conference Scoring Championship.
On the opposite end of the floor, Eric Pigden and Neil Roberts were presented with the OLA Jr. B Eastern Conference Goalies of the Year award. Pigden registered 9 wins and 1 loss, along with a 6.00 goals-against average while Roberts registered 8 wins, 0 losses, and 2 ties on his way to a 5.75 Goals Against Average. The Green Gaels led the league with only 118 goals against during the 2012 Regular Season. This is the third Goalie of the Year award for Pigden, and second for Roberts, as well as the fourth consecutive Goalies of the Year award for the Green Gaels organization.
Once the league awards were distributed, the team presented the individual team awards. Gaels awards are decided by the coaching staff as well as the management committee.
In addition to winning the 2012 OLA Jr. B Eastern Conference MVP Award as well as the OLA Jr. B Eastern Conference Scoring Championship, the Green Gaels also awarded Dylan Goddard the Green Gaels Most Valuable Offensive Player Award based on his regular season scoring totals that included 47 goals and 76 assists in 19 games, along with another 15 goals and 29 assists in 10 playoff games. Goddard is currently ranked 43rd in all-time OLA Jr. B Regular Season assists, and 41st in all-time OLA Jr. B Regular Season and Playoff assists, and is the only current Junior B player in the Top 50 on both lists.
Returning to the Green Gaels after winning a Minto Cup with the Whitby Warriors in 2011, Mitch DeSnoo was presented with the Green Gaels Most Valuable Defensive Player Award. An Assistant captain in 2012, he was a work horse out the defensive door for Assistant Coach Brad MacArthur and was used in all situations. De Snoo is currently attending Drexel University where he plays attack for the Division 1 Drexel Dragons field lacrosse team and is majoring in biomechanical engineering. DeSnoo punished opposing shooters and helped lead the transition game for the Gaels.
In a rare move, the Gaels presented two Rookie of the Year awards, with both Connor Laird and Austin Shanks receiving the award. Laird was a pleasant surprise on defence and transition, looking like a seasoned veteran as he developed throughout the year. On the offensive end, Shanks was always a threat to put the ball past the opposing goalkeeper and finished the regular season with 34 goals and 43 assists and managed to score in all but one of his 15 regular season games.
Acquired prior to the 2011 season through the Whitby Warriors from the Nepean Knights organization, Brett Lewandowsky was awarded with the Green Gaels Most Likely to Succeed award for the second year in a row. Lewandowsky is a civil engineering student at Carleton University and is an avid Crossfit competitor. An assistant captain on last year’s squad, Lewandowsky was best known for this steady defensive play but also contributed on transition, including scoring four goals in last season’s home opener. As a graduating player, Lewandowsky’s presence will be missed both in the dressing room and on the floor in 2013.
Nick Loyst managed to bring home two pieces of hardware. After taking two years off from lacrosse and being a late addition to the Green Gaels training camp in the spring, Loyst was awarded the Green Gaels Most Underrated Player of the Year award. Loyst was an unknown quantity when he walked into tryouts but quickly made a name for himself with his work ethic and forced his way onto the 2012 roster. Nick was also awarded with the Green Gaels Grinder of the Year award, chosen by Gaels trainers Ken Johnston and Mike Bryant for his gritty on floor attitude and high energy style of play.
Possibly the most cherished award, the Jim Bishop Memorial Award for Dedication and Perseverance, was awarded to 4 year veteran Lucas Perri. Perri returned to the Green Gaels in 2011 after taking the 2010 season off, and he continued to embody the heart and soul of the team. He took a strong leadership role with the club both on and off the floor, a role that he handled so well during the Gaels’ 2009 Founders Cup run. Perri was rewarded for his efforts by being named an assistant captain in 2012. Although plagued by injury early in the 2012 season, Perri never gave up hope and returned to active duty late in the season and performed well throughout the playoffs. As a graduating player, Lucas will truly be missed by the 2013 team and beyond.
The President’s Trophy for the Volunteer of the Year was presented by Green Gaels President Doug Luey to Jim “Moses” Murphy for his hard work and dedication to the Green Gaels organization in multiple roles for over fifty years of service.
Graduating players Connor Latimer, Eric Amodeo, Lucas Perri, and 2012 captain Stephen Bourden were all awarded with their Green Gaels crest in honour of their careers as Green Gaels. Also graduating from the 2012 roster are Brendan Fox, Brock Levick, and Lewandowsky. The Green Gaels Junior B Lacrosse Club wishes all of their graduating players the best of luck in their future endeavours.
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