Courtesy of Brown Athletic Commuications, Cornell Athletic Communications, Harvard Athletic Communications and Yale Sports Publicity
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Brown's Clay Del Prince, Cornell's Jason Noble, Harvard's Jason Gonos and Yale's Peter Johnson are among the 20 candidates announced this week for the Senior CLASS Award in the sport of men's lacrosse.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The candidates must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
The 20 candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Philadelphia during the May 25-27 festivities.
The 2013 candidate class includes six candidates who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. One candidate was named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American At-Large team, and eight were members of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-America team.
Noble leads the seventh-ranked 2013 Cornell men's lacrosse team as one of the team's four co-captains. He is an outstanding student in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management program and is involved in numerous community service projects. A brother in Alpha Tau Omega, Noble is also a member of the prestigious Sphinx Head Honor Society, as well as serving as the men's lacrosse team's representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
Noble was named second-team All-American and first-team All-Ivy last season. anchoring the 15th-ranked defensive unit in the nation. He started 13 games, missing one contest due to injury, and finished the year ranked eighth in the nation with 2.0 caused turnovers per game and ranking third on the team with 35 ground balls. He also caused at least one turnover in 12 of his 13 contests.
The Cornell men's lacrosse team has produced two previous Senior CLASS Award winners with Matt McMonagle winning the inaugural award in 2007, followed by Max Seibald in 2009.
Gonos, an economics concentrator with a cumulative GPA of 3.50, was voted by his teammates to serve as captain for the 2013 season. He has started as a defenseman in 37 of Harvard's 42 games over the past three seasons, and last year recorded career-highs with 33 groundballs and 14 caused turnovers. Earlier this spring Inside Lacrosse tabbed him as a preseason All-America honorable mention selection.
Even more impressive than his play on the field has been Gonos' work within the community. In November, he organized the Crimson's involvement in Lacrosse Mustache Madness which raised $6,979 for the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. Gonos has also spent time working with Happy Helpers for the Homeless in his home state of Maryland, helping to feed and clothe the homeless in Glen Burnie, Md.
A Brown team captain in 2013, Del Prince has displayed significant character, and leadership both on the field and off, and has already been accepted into Medical School in Buffalo, N.Y.. He led the charge with the men's lacrosse community outreach efforts, organizing and actively participating with the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School's third grade classroom, and playing a large role with another major initiative: the annual 36-hour run where the Brown lacrosse program has raised enough money ($18,000) to build a school in rural Sri Lanka.
A Biology/Pre-Med concentrator with a 3.90 GPA, Del Prince was All-Ivy selection in 2012, and a two-year starter for the Bears. Del Prince ranked 14th in the nation with 1.86 caused turnovers per game, while only drawing two penalties the entire season. He also played a key role in Brown's man-down defense which was ranked fifth nationally. He earned Brown's Unsung Hero Award (2011), and the Dom Starsia Coaches Award (2012).
Johnson, a 2012 USILA All-America pick, is a mechanical engineering major with a 3.31 GPA. He successfully designed and manufactured an electricity-free automatic door opener for his senior capstone design class and has also designed and 3D printed his own iPhone cases for his computer aided design class.
Johnson, who spent last summer as an analyst at a private equity firm in New York City, is the first Minnesotan in Yale lacrosse history and one of the first in the state to make it to a Division I program. During the summer and winter breaks, he has mentored high school lacrosse players throughout Minnesota who aspired to play college lacrosse. Other outreach activities include serving on the dean's selection committee in Berkeley College at Yale.
Since his freshman year, Johnson and his teammates have been active contributors to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which provides support for a child affected by pediatric brain cancer. Johnson has spent time off the field organizing activities with the affected child and his brother, making them honorary members of the Yale team the last three seasons.
Johnson, a starter as a freshman for the Bulldogs, helped Yale earn its first Ivy League Championship since 1990 his rookie season, while earning All-Ivy honorable mention recognition. He helped the Elis win the 2012 Ivy League tournament and was selected to the all-tournament team. The Bulldog veteran, also a 2012 first-team All-Ivy and second-team All-New England selection and was taken by Rochester in the seventh round of the 2013 MLL draft.
More information on the Senior CLASS Award program can be found online at www.seniorclassaward.com.