Tufts lacrosse iroquois award
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Iroquois Award Early Frontrunners: D3 PotY

The Iroquois Award is handed out to the best D3 player in the country each year, and selecting winner now would be impossible. Heck, even picking a top 5 right now would be kind of crazy. But crazy can be good, right?

That is exactly what I am thinking to myself as I sit here on St. Paddy’s day and take a long, hard look into the Iroquois National Player of the Year candidates thus far for D3, while every other 20 something is out right now dressed in green, hammering home adult sodas. Honestly, I prefer this!

Say what you want about writing this only a month into the season, but the number of big out of conference games has to be taken into consideration, and they will ultimately play a large role in who brings home the hardware come May, on top of teams’ overall success.

Can a new player make a name over the next two months? You best believe it, and on the flip side you can play yourself off this list just as easily. Who would’ve thought names like Myles Jones and Matt Kavanaugh wouldn’t still be sitting atop the Tewaaraton list at this juncture? I sure didn’t!

It should be known that by no means is this perfect, and without a doubt I am leaving off a handful of players. However, I think up until this point all of the players listed below have a legitimate shot at being the best player in all of D3 men’s lacrosse.

The Iroquois Award Early Favorites

RYAN LEE – ATTACK (RIT)

Why he will win it: It’s really a simple formula. He plays on one of the most uptempo offenses in the country, for a coach that constantly puts him in a position to score goals, and brought home some hardware for himself last season. I was never good at math, but with RIT looking to make another deep run, the answer to the above just may be PotY.

Why he won’t win it: Some may argue he isn’t even the most talented CANADIAN on his own team!

JOHN UPPGREN – ATTACK (TUFTS)

Why he will in it: What else does he need to do? 254 points in the last two seasons and a 2x National Champion. He plays on the best or one of the best teams in the country, that again is primed to defend their championship. His ability to score “Lyle Like” goals is insane and people watch that stuff!

Why he won’t win it: See above. The guy has put up back to back 100 point seasons with two championship rings and has’t gotten in. The only thing stopping him now has to be the coaches picking this award. Did he piss someone off?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K-32qdXFGI

LUKE WOOTERS – ATTACK (NAZARETH)

Why he will win it: Nazareth up until this point looks like the real deal, where in years past they have gotten off to a slow start. People are thinking back to the glory days in Rochester, and he is a big reason why. 8 ppg thus far, insane.

Why he won’t win it: Some would argue that Troy Haefele is equally as good. Advantage has to go to Wooters here based on years past, but by a very thin margin. They have been 1-2 in points the last three seasons. It’s a very good issue to have, but will it end up hurting him? I am sure Coach Randall could care less!

AUSTIN STEWART – ATTACK (LYNCHBURG)

Why he will win it: Goals, goals, and more goals. It will be tough to top his season from last year, but a guy who consistently puts up four or five a game has to be in contention. Look at the D1 watch list, and tell me Jake Froccaro from Nova’ isn’t top three right now. He is for me.

Why he won’t win it: Lynchburg’s slow start that could potentially turn into a spiral. A lot of people were high on the Hornets coming into the season (me included) and they have struggled so far. Also, will the committee give it to a player who scores six goals for every apple? Time will tell.

THOMAS CIRILLO – MIDFIELD (SALISBURY)

Why he will win it: Playing for the top team in the country who is the class of the south helps. The balanced midfielder (19g, 18a) is averaging close to five goals a game on a team that many expected to have a rebuilding year. Not so fast!

Why he won’t win: Doesn’t come with the hype and unreal past seasons like the four mentioned above.

Iroquois Award – Next Group Up

Don’t count the guys below out just yet. Sure, it’s going to be hard form a longpole to win the award, but it’s not out of the question. Throw a FOGO and a goalie in there and we’re golden!

MATT HOSSACK – LSM (RIT)
CHRIS PALLADINO – LSM (GETTYSBURG)
QUINN MORONEY – ATTACK (AMHERST)
TROY HAEFELE – ATTACK (NAZARETH)
CONNOR HELFRICH – FACEOFF SPECIALIST (TUFTS)

Deserve The Iroquois Award Hype

These guys might not come up a lot in the conversation right now, but they deserve the hype, as each is having a great year so far!

CALEB ABNEY – GOALIE (YORK)
MARCUS DIETZ – ATTACK (OWU)
CONNOR HEALEY – ATTACK (ST. LAWRENCE)
TYLER MCWILLIAMS – ATTACK (ROANOKE)
TOM KRAEMER – GOALIE (FROSTBURG)

Maybe I missed a couple guys? There is so  much talent out there I must have, so let the backlash begin! Hit me up in the comments with ideas on some other D3 guys who should be considered for the Iroquois Award!