The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (UCBLL) announced its player awards for the 2023 season on Monday. The awards are named after lacrosse legends from the Western New York region.
The MVP awards for the Rochester-based teams, Armory, and Hawkeyes, are named after Duane “Dewey” Jacobs, while the Unsung Hero honors Chris Schiller. For the Buffaloes and Rapids, who are based in Buffalo, the MVP Award bears the names of Darris and Rich Kilgour, while their Unsung Hero is named after Ken Lay Sr.
Duane “Dewey” Jacobs Most Valuable Player – William Dempsey, Armory
William Dempsey was named the Armory’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight season. The Syracuse, NY native led the UCBLL with 209 saves and was second with an 8.70 goals-against average. He backstopped the Armory to a 5-3 record and a second-place finish.
“I believe without Will in net for us, we wouldn’t have the success we have seen with this team,” said coach Jordan Jarvis. “He is the backbone of our defense and has made some incredible plays throughout his career with the Armory. Off the floor, Will is a huge locker room guy. He’s always looking to crack a joke or lift someone up during or before a game. His presence with the Armory is always positive, and we are all thankful he is in our corner.”
Chris Schiller Unsung Hero – Tyler Goode, Armory
Tyler Goode earned his first Unsung Hero award this season after finishing second on the team in assists (11) and third in points (19). Now in his third season in the UCBLL, Goode is gunning for his third straight trip to the NCBS National Championships.
“Tyler has been with the Armory since its inception. I don’t think he has missed a practice or game in that time,” said Jarvis. “He gives it his all and is willing to try out new ideas. He plays on both sides of the floor and is the true definition of a team player. His grit and vision are unmatched in this league. You know there will always be excitement when he is on the floor. Tyler will definitely be a player to watch out for in the future and has been a consequential piece of this team for the past three years.”
Duane “Dewey” Jacobs Most Valuable Player – Zachary Terry, Hawkeyes
Zachary Terry led the UCBLL with 33 goals and posted a team-high 38 points en route to his first MVP award. The Limestone product is closing in on becoming the third player in league history to eclipse 100 career points. He currently has 96 points (72+24) in 28 games.
“Zach has been one of the perennial goal scorers in our league the past two summers,” said coach Dan Coates. “While his scoring exploits have been what jumps out at you on a stat sheet, his leadership and commitment to playing two-way lacrosse is what our coaching staff has been most impressed with. Zach has been a key piece to our success. He is our deserving MVP for the Hawkeyes for the 2023 season.”
Chris Schiller Unsung Hero – Will Hardy, Hawkeyes
Will Hardy was named the Unsung Hero award winner in his rookie season in the UCBLL. The Tully, NY native posted seven goals and eight assists in eight regular season games. His most impressive game was on July 20 when he jumped into goal in the second half against the Rapids. He allowed five goals in 30 minutes of play and made eight saves.
“Will has been a Swiss Army knife for the Hawkeyes this year,” said Coates. “He has seen some significant minutes playing offense, defense, transition, and most notably, goalie for us this season. He plays with a team-first mentality and has been a great leader for us on the floor and in the locker room. His work ethic is a great example for our guys to follow. We are very fortunate to have him on our squad, and he is our unsung hero.”
Ken Lay Sr. Unsung Hero – Adam Brennan, Rapids
Adam Brennan started all eight games for the Rapids and was the only goalie to defeat the Hawkeyes this season. He is this year’s winner of the team’s Unsung Hero Award.
“Adam is our unsung hero because he is a selfless teammate and a competitor. He’s held us in many games this summer and has helped give us a chance every game,” said coach Ian MacKay. “On top of his on-field attributes, he has committed to driving from the Greater Toronto Area to be at every game and practice, showing his commitment to his teammates and the game of lacrosse.”
Darris and Rich Kilgour Most Valuable Player – Christian Watts, Rapids
This year, Christan Watts has 32 goals and 19 assists for 51 points in eight games. He led the Rapids in scoring for the second straight season. In two years in the UCBLL, Watts compiled 55 goals and 48 assists, totaling 103 points. He joins Nick Miller as the only UCBLL player to break 100 career points. Watts was drafted 82nd overall by the Buffalo Bandits in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft and played college lacrosse at Siena.
“Christian Watts is not only an incredible talent with his stick in his hands, but also an amazing leader,” said coach Chris Cloutier. “He does everything that’s asked of him, hasn’t missed a practice or game all summer, and is the voice behind the Rapids.”
Darris and Rich Kilgour Most Valuable Player – Grant Breyo, Buffaloes
This season, Grant Breyo tallied seven goals and 15 points in eight games as a key transition player for the Buffaloes. Breyo will enter his senior NCAA season with UMass.
“Grant has been fantastic for us this year and an absolute pleasure to coach,” said coach Dalton Sulver. “For being pretty new to the indoor game, I think he has picked it up quickly and is improving every week. His experience playing midfield in the field game has allowed him to jump right into his role as a transition player for us. He’s a guy who works hard, is very receptive to feedback, and always has a smile on his face. I can’t wait to see where the box game takes him.”
Ken Lay Sr. Unsung Hero – Austin Blumbergs, Buffaloes
Austin Blumbergs led the Buffaloes with 10 goals and was tied for a team-best 18 points. The St. Bonaventure product was drafted by the Bandits 88th overall in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft.
“Austin has consistently been one of our best players on the floor and has been a leader for us in the locker room all season,” said coach Ethan O’Connor. “He is fast and athletic and will force a lot of coaches to take notice during his first NLL training camp this fall.”