Lyle Thompson Wins Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player and Warrior Offensive Player of the Year
October 5, 2019 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release
Boston - Lyle Thompson of the Chesapeake Bayhawks has been awarded the Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player Award and the Warrior Offensive Player of the Year Award at the 2019 MLL Honors at Union Station in Denver, CO. on Saturday.
The 27 year old prolific scoring attackman led the MLL in scoring with 73 points on the season (46 goals, 27 assists) in 15 games played. His performance helped lead the Bayhawks to a 10-6 record and the top spot in the standings heading into the playoffs.
Thompson beat out the other finalists for the Coca-Cola MVP award who were Mark Cockerton of the Boston Cannons and Zach Currier of the Denver Outlaws. Cockerton, 28, finished the season with 52 points (43 goals, 9 assists), finishing sixth in the league for points and tied for second in goals with Atlanta Blaze's Shayne Jackson. Currier, 25, had 36 points (18 goals, 1 2pt goal, 17 assists) in 13 games played as he led the Outlaws to the second seed in the playoffs. For the Warrior Offensive Player of the Year award, Thompson beat out Cockerton and Randy Staats of the Atlanta Blaze. Staats finished the season with 50 points (17 G, 33 A) to help Atlanta to an 8-8 record and clinch the fourth seed in the MLL playoffs.
With his outstanding 2019 season, Thompson is now the first player in Chesapeake history to win the MVP Award or the Offensive Player of the Year Award. He finished with ten more points than the next highest scorers in the league (Rob Pannell and Tommy Palasek with 63 points) and finished with 23 more points and nine more goals than the next highest player on the Bayhawks (Steele Stanwick with 50 points and Colin Heacock with 37 goals). His 2019 season is a major improvement over his 2018 season where he finished with ten points (7 goals, 3 assists) in only three games played.
The University of Albany product put together a historic collegiate career as he finished with a total of 121 points which is the second highest point total in Division I history and is the only back-to-back winner of the Tewaaraton Award in 2014 and 2015. His collegiate success was enough for him to get drafted first overall by the Florida Launch in the 2015 MLL Collegiate Draft. Thompson was traded from the Launch to the Bayhawks in 2017 and went on to play six games for the Bayhawks that season finishing with 28 points (20 goals, 8 assists).
Thompson is well known for his Native American heritage as he is part of the Onondaga Nation, one of the six nations in the Iroquois Confederacy and grew up on both the Onondaga reservation and Mohawk territory. With lacrosse's deep history in Native American culture, Thompson has been connected to the game of lacrosse from as young as he can remember. His heritage remains an important part of his life as he is proud to represent his community in the MLL and winning the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards.
"Lyle is the true definition of a lacrosse player." says Jesse Bernhardt, veteran defenseman for the Bayhawks. "His elite skillset and talent speaks for itself but what sometimes goes unnoticed because of his highlight reel plays is his relentless attack and effort. The impact he has not only had on our team in regard to putting up points but how he goes about his business doing that is nothing short of impressive. He is a quiet competitor that takes a beating game in and game out but keeps going back for more. As a team we are not surprised by his accomplishments but thrilled for him to be recognized for all that he has done."
"He's an absolutely fantastic kid and has more skill than anyone I've really had the pleasure of working with," Dave Cottle, head coach of the Bayhawks said. "There were so many times during the season where he would just do something that amazes you. He works incredibly hard to be at his best every day, guys like him makes my job as a coach much easier. I'm very proud of what he's been able to accomplish."
The Chesapeake Bayhawks and 2019 MLL MVP Lyle Thompson will play the Denver Outlaws for the MLL Championship on Sunday at 1:00 P.M. EDT/ 11:00 MDT at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. The MLL Championship Game will air live on ESPN2.
Tickets are currently available on majorleaguelacrosse.com.
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