University of California-Berkeley senior defender Nate Degroat and University of Dayton attackman Sam White have been named the recipients of the Godekeraw Award, which is presented by US Lacrosse to the top scholar-athlete in each division of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).
The Godekeraw Award is made possible through a generous gift from Dr. Laurence A. Feldman, founder of LaxPower.com, to the US Lacrosse Foundation. The winners of the award receive an engraved, hand-made stick crafted by the legendary Alf Jacques of the Onondaga Nation to honor their achievement.
DeGroat started his career as a midfielder with the Bears, but transitioned to close defense this spring and excelled. He finished fourth on the team in ground balls (58) while also scoring five goals and dishing out an assist. He was a first team all-WCLL selection at defense in his only year at the position and was also tabbed a Second Team All-American. He was also an all-tournament pick for Cal, which finished the season with a 17-1 mark.
He finished his career with 41 goals, 58 goals (99 points) and 135 ground balls for the Bears, which amassed a record of 55-17 in his four years.
In the classroom, the Ambler, Pa., product graduates with a 3.87 grade point average in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business. In his free hours, DeGroat worked with the Oakland Lacrosse Club, mentoring and tutoring underprivileged youngster in Oakland with lacrosse being the conduit.
“After three years as our top two-way middie, Nate said this fall he wanted to play pole,” said Cal coach Ned Webster. “I don’t think he was ever beat for a goal the entire season, often drawing the opposing team’s top threat and dominating them.
“When he’s not studying, Nate and his teammates volunteer with the non-profit Oakland Lacrosse Club, tutoring, mentoring and coaching youth student-athletes. Nate is arguably the quietest player on the team, but no one can question his brightness and innate goodness.”
The Pittsburgh native carries a 3.22 grade point average in Finance. In addition to coaching and running practices at Archbishop Alter (Ohio) High School, White volunteered at the prestigious Marianist Environmental Education Center where he helped maintain and restore habitats in the Dayton area. In addition, as team president of the Dayton lacrosse program and due to school rules, White was tasked with maintaining all of the team’s travel, eligibility checks, gear orders and budget.
“Sam is a great kid who works his tail off to make our program a success, in addition to school and living his life,” said Dayton coach Joe Venturella. “He is as good as any player in the MCLA from my perspective and he delivered some clutch goals.”
“What he has done off the field is equally impressive and he should be honored for those achievements. I am very thankful he is able to earn that recognition this year.”
In his four years with the Flyers, White accumulated 102 goals and 42 assists along with 83 ground balls. Dayton posted a 41-19 record in his four years.
The Godekeraw Award is presented each year to the student-athlete who has shown considerable success on the field, a 3.2 GPA or higher in the classroom and substantial community service record. It is the most prestigious award presented to an MCLA player.