BALTIMORE – Georgia Tech's Christopher O'Brien and St. Thomas' Pat Mines have been named the recipients of the Godekeraw Award, which is presented by US Lacrosse to the top scholar-athlete in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).
The Godekeraw Award is made possible through a generous gift from Dr. Lawrence A. Feldman, founder of LaxPower, Inc., to the US Lacrosse Foundation. The winners of the award receive an engraved, hand-made stick to honor their achievement.
"It's important that US Lacrosse is partnering with the MCLA on this, helping us recognize the amazing student-athletes we have in our association, especially from the governing body of lacrosse," said MCLA president Ken Lovic. "I love that it is an award not just for on the field, but off the field accomplishments of the players recognized."
Georgia Tech made its charge to the semifinals of the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour and finished 16-1 thanks to the attack play of O'Brien. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native finished second on the Jackets in scoring with 69 points (42g, 27a). O'Brien also graduated with a 3.8 grade point average, including three Faculty Honors, which are designated for students with a perfect 4.0 in a semester.
"Chris is the ideal student-athlete," said Lovic, who is also the Georgia Tech coach. "He excels both in the classroom and on the field. Chris has been a starter for the Jackets since he arrived on campus as a freshman. A three time all-conference player, Chris has also been instrumental in leading Georgia Tech through numerous community outreach programs helping grow the sport in the state."
Mines helped St. Thomas earn its fifth MCLA national championship from his long-stick middie position, at which he was named a first team All-American in Division II. The Lakeville, Minn., product was third on the team in ground balls (59) while also scoring a goal and dishing out two assists in addition to his lock-down defensive duties. He will graduate with a 3.1 grade point average.
"Pat is a tremendously well-rounded individual," said St. Thomas coach Brian Gross. "He's an excellent student in the classroom and an exceptional lacrosse player. As our team president, he's been invaluable in the organization and direction of the team the last two years, and has helped organize multiple community service efforts, including working with children around the holidays, teaching individual lacrosse skills to local youths at various clinics and preparing meals for families in need. Pat is a great example to our underclassmen about what we strive to achieve at St. Thomas."
The Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association is a confederacy of 10 non-varsity conferences sponsoring over 200 programs spanning 42 states, two countries and the District of Columbia.