Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced today the final three of six finalists for the Cascade David Huntley Man of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious honors in the sport of lacrosse. The award, named in honor of late MLL head coach, David Huntley, who passed away in 2017, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship, professionalism, and service to his community.
This year, the New York Lizards nominate Mark Ellis, the Boston Cannons nominate Zach Goodrich, and the Connecticut Hammerheads nominate Kris Alleyne.
The New York Lizards nominated Mark Ellis for the David Huntley Man of the Year award. Ellis checks all the boxes in what exemplifies the David Huntley Man of the Year award recipient. He exhibits sportsmanship within a league level, is professional beyond reproach, and makes selfless, meaningful contributions to his community. He is an influencer on and off the field.
“Mark is one of those guys that makes you feel lucky that you get to coach him,” said Lizards head coach, BJ O’Hara. “Not only is he a really great lacrosse player, but he is a really great guy. Having him in our locker room and on our team, these past two seasons has been a blessing to the entire organization. There’s nobody who deserves this award more.”
Ellis has created a voice within the community, especially within lacrosse, regarding diversity. He has shown compassion and support to not just the Black Lives Matter movement, but all minority groups in this sport. He is actively working to grow the sport as a whole and to unite all lacrosse fans, players, and coaches as one.
The Boston Cannons nominated Zach Goodrich for the David Huntley Man of the Year award. A leader both on and off the field, Goodrich has worked tirelessly in his two-year MLL career to grow the game of lacrosse in multiple communities. After serving as the first three-time captain in Towson Lacrosse history, he assumed the role of head coach of boys lacrosse at the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, Rhode Island. As a coach at NAPS, Goodrich serves as a role model for the future generation of the United States military.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Goodrich hosted multiple leadership Zoom calls with high school lacrosse programs in the Boston area alongside the U.S. Army leaders. On these virtual conferences, he answered many questions and offered advice to young female and male lacrosse players consisting of topics such as college recruitment, leadership styles, and teamwork.
An assistant captain for the Cannons, Goodrich’s on-field leadership abilities are felt by both his teammates and coaches alike.
“Zach is one of the most dedicated leaders and team-first athletes I have ever been around or coached,” said Cannons head coach Sean Quirk. “His commitment level to the team and his teammates is unparalleled. On top of his leadership ability, he is without question the top defensive midfielder in the world.”
The 2020 Connecticut Hammerheads David Huntley Man of the Year award nominee is goaltender Kris Alleyne. A Rutgers University graduate and MLL athlete since 2017, Alleyne led the charge in the fight for social justice on the Hammerheads and has been outspoken about the Black Lives Matter movement both publicly and in the Hammerheads’ locker room. Alleyne has shared his own experiences of being a black lacrosse player on his own social media channels as well as with local media outlets across Connecticut.
“Kris is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had dating back to my youth lacrosse days,” said Hammerheads starting goaltender Sean Sconone. “He truly cares about the team and about being the best possible teammate that he can be. He is like having another coach out onthe field and he is always helping, whether it is defensively or in the clearing game. Having Kris as a part of the Hammerheads is something that I don’t think any player takes for granted and he truly is one of the most genuine and most positive people I have ever met.”
Alleyne serves as an assistant coach at Division I Canisius College, mentoring the team’s goaltenders while assisting in game planning and recruiting. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, he created instructional videos with Blue Star Lacrosse, aiming to educate youth and high school goalies on proper technique so they can succeed on the field.“
Alleyne has always displayed incredible professionalism and sportsmanship as a member of the Rattlers and Hammerheads dating back to 2017,” said Hammerheads head coach Bill Warder. “He is an exceptional teammate, competitor, and brings great energy to the team as a highly knowledgeable player and coach.”