PHOENIX -- Fresh off its second MCLA Division I championship in three years, the Grand Canyon men's lacrosse team has named its captains for the 2018 season.
Each one has the accolades on the field, but Lopes coach Manny Rapkin chose them because of what they show off the field, as well.
“They deliver everywhere,” Rapkin said. “They’re all good students, all good people and all hard workers.”
Each one will tell you there are leaders everywhere on the team, but the distinction is nothing to be ignored.
“It’s very humbling,” Vicente said. “There are a lot of leaders on this team who deserve the name as captain. But it’s an honor to be named one of them, and hopefully, I can lead this team to another championship.”
All three are coming off a season where they were named to the MCLA All-American teams.
Vicente and Wengreniuk were named with first-team honors, while Lamey was chosen for the second team – along with being named Defensive Player of the Year in the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference. In addition, Lamey, who is on track to graduate a year early, was also named as an MCLA Scholar Athlete.
The title can certainly raise expectations for the players to deliver once more, but these are expectations the players have already made for themselves from the beginning.
“It’s something that I’m just going to carry on myself, but it’s something that Coach Rapkin and (assistant) Coach (Jeff) Guy have done a great job in sustaining in us throughout the years,” Wengreniuk said.
A major part of a captain’s role is creating and maintaining a culture that everyone on the team gets behind. The Lopes have built a culture of success since their inception, but it’s more than just scoring goals and winning games. How GCU continues on that success will rely on everyone buying in.
“There has to be a culture of attention to detail, work ethic, integrity; guys that are always striving to do their best and be their best in all aspects of the program,” Guy said.
It’s those parts of the culture that mandated Wengreniuk, Vicente and Lamey wear the ‘C’ on their jerseys throughout the season.
“Guys respect them because of what they do on and off the field,” Guy said. “If they’re not respected by their teammates, they’re not going to be followed. They exemplify the characteristics of a leader: having integrity, having a strong work-ethic and doing things the right way.”
(from a GCU/Jesse Vineyard release)