LOS ANGELES, CA. (May 29, 2019) – The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced today the names and descriptions of their inaugural season awards. Awards listed below.
Gait Brothers Midfielder of the Year:
Through their unparalleled combination of athleticism, stick skills, and lacrosse IQ, brothers Paul and Gary Gait revolutionized the midfield position. Both four-time NCAA All-Americans, NCAA national champions, professional indoor and outdoor champions, Canadian National Team legends, and members of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the Gait brothers were first true superstars of the sport. This award will be given annually to the best midfielder in the Premier Lacrosse League.
Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of the Year:
Dave Pietramala is regarded as the best defensemen to ever play the game. A National Champion player and coach and a World Champion with the US National Team, Pietramala is one of the most decorated figures in the game. Pietramala additionally holds the distinction of being the only athlete in lacrosse history to be named National Player of the Year and National Coach of the Year. This award will be given annually to the best defenseman in the Premier Lacrosse League.
Brodie Merrill Long Stick Midfielder of the Year:
With unparalleled ability to stop opponents while also making electric plays in the middle and offensive ends of the field, Brodie Merrill revolutionized the long stick midfield position. Merrill was a staple on the Canadian National Team for four terms and a regular All-Star in both the indoor and outdoor game. This award will be given annually to the best long stick midfielder in the Premier Lacrosse League as a tribute to Merrill.
Dick Edell Coach of the Year:
Widely regarded as one of the best men’s lacrosse coaches of all time, Dick Edell served at the helm for University of Baltimore, Army, and University of Maryland for nearly thirty years. During his 18-year tenure as Maryland Head Coach, Edell led the Terps to three ACC titles, 13 NCAA tournament appearances and three Championship Games. In memory of the late coach, the Dick Edell Coach of the Year will be given annually to the most outstanding coach in the Premier Lacrosse League.
Paul Cantabene Face Off Athlete of the Year:
Always known as one of the most intense and hardest working lacrosse players, Paul Cantabene was an All-American during his time at Loyola and a perennial All-Star in both the indoor and outdoor professional game. Nationally known for his durability, toughness and unrelenting will to win, Cantabene remains one of the best lacrosse players of all time. Annually, this award will be given to the best face off athlete in the Premier Lacrosse League.
George Boiardi Hard Hat Award (SSDM):
A standout performer and four-year starter during his time at Cornell, Boiardi tragically lost his life when he was struck by a ball in the chest during a game in 2004. An inductee to the Cornell University Hall of Fame, Boiardi’s name is synonymous in the lacrosse world with the dedication and selflessness that made endeared him to his teammates and family. This award will be given annually to the best short stick defensive midfielder in the PLL.
Welles Crowther Humanitarian Award:
A Boston College lacrosse player, volunteer firefighter, and rookie equities trader, Welles Crowther died during the September 11 attacks while saving the lives of countless others in the process. While working on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower, Crowther led numerous workers to safety. Even after escaping the building, Crowther returned upstairs with members of the FDNY prior to the building’s collapse – a true hero in every sense of the word. Crowther’s courageous story has additionally been depicted in the documentary film, The Man in the Red Bandana. This award honors the memory of Crowther and is given to the player who is devoted to the welfare of humanity. From the work done in their community, their country, and internationally, this player is an example to us all.
Jim Brown Most Valuable Player:
Widely regarded as the best athlete of all time in any sport, Jim Brown dominated in both collegiate and football lacrosse while a student at Syracuse University. A member of the NFL Hall of Fame, the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and a three-time NFL Most Valuable Player, Brown’s on field accomplishments are remarkable. To honor Brown’s career, this award will be given to the Most Valuable Player in the Premier Lacrosse League.