The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (UCBLL) announced its player awards for the 2022 season. 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.
Darris and Rich Kilgour Most Valuable Player Award – Weylon Abrams, Buffaloes
Weylon Abrams was awarded the MVP after an incredible season in the UCBLL. Abrams scored a league-leading 30 goals as part of a 44-point campaign. He led the Buffaloes in goals and points in his first season in the UCBLL.
“Weylon was fantastic for us all year. He’s a guy who has a great understanding of the game and plays it the right way,” said Buffaloes coach Dalton Sulver. “As one of the top scorers in the league, he consistently found ways to get it done himself by getting to the dangerous areas of the floor and always got his teammates involved – especially down the stretch. He also was willing to mix things up with defenders if the team needed a spark. As a bigger guy with great hands that excels at the pick and roll game, I think there is no question he’ll get his opportunity down the road in the NLL if he continues working hard.”
Ken Lay Sr. Unsung Hero Award – Garret Walker, Buffaloes
Canisius College’s Garret Walker was named the winner of the Ken Lay Sr. Unsung Hero Award. Walker was a defensive stalwart who also chipped in four assists this season. The defenseman was a key member of the Buffaloes and helped the team knock off the Rapids in the regular-season finale.
“When thinking of our unsung hero, a couple of guys on our team could have been nominated, but no one embodies the title more than Garret,” said Sulver. “He’s a player who excels in the middle third of the floor and makes a ton of plays in between the lines for us. He was great stepping up to take draws, always seeming to make it a 50/50 loose ball that he often came up with. He was also a great defender who we could count on when we needed a stop and was great in the transition game, making the smart plays and being unselfish. He isn’t a guy who led with his voice but certainly did in his actions.”
Darris and Rich Kilgour Most Valuable Player Award – Christian Watts, Rapids
East Aurora, NY native Christian Watts was second in the UCBLL with 29 assists and 52 points en route to team MVP honors. The Siena University product was also tied for the team lead with 23 goals. Watts was the leader of one of the top offenses in the UCBLL.
“Christian Watts has proven all year that he’s one of the best players in this league,” said Rapids coach Josh Byrne. “His hard work and ability to learn on the fly is one of the reasons why we believe that he will go on to have a great lacrosse career. The future is bright for Christian!”
Ken Lay Sr. Unsung Hero Award – Connor Waller, Rapids
Goalie Connor Waller backstopped the Rapids within one win of second place in the UCBLL. Waller was the goalie for one of the league’s top defensive teams. In his first season in the league, he posted wins over the Armory, Hawkeyes and Rapids.
“Connor Waller was a brick wall for the Rapids game in and game out,” said Byrne. “His ability to stay calm and make timely saves is why we believe he will be able to take his talents to the next level. His passion for the game fueled our team, and he’s only just getting started! “
Duane “Dewey” Jacobs Most Valuable Player – William Dempsey, Armory
William Dempsey captured the team MVP award for the Armory. After leading the team to the 2021 league championship and a second-place finish at the National Collegiate Box Series national championship, Dempsey returned this season on a mission.
He had another stellar campaign, backstopping the Armory to a 5-4 record and to the second seed in the UCBLL Playoffs. In nine games in 2022, the Onondaga Community College student posted a 9.55 goals-against average and a .789 save percentage. In the last two games of the regular season, Dempsey posted two of his best games, collecting 44 and 36 saves.
“Will has been a staple of the Armory for the last two seasons and has really come into his own this past year,” said Armory coach Jordan Jarvis. “He is committed to the game, to his craft, and brings his best every night. His passion for the game is unmatched and has truly been the backbone of the Armory.”
Chris Schiller Unsung Hero – Alec Constable, Armory
Alec Constable received the Chris Schiller award as the team’s Unsung Hero. In nine games this season, the Penfield High School senior finished fourth on the Armory with 30 points (7+23). Constable will continue his lacrosse career at Division II Le Moyne College.
“Alec is someone who shows up day in and day out and is always willing to learn,” said Jarvis. “While being one of the youngest players in the UCBLL, he carries a large role for us as a feeder, ball carrier, face-off artist, and a consistent man-up specialist. We are glad to have him on the Armory and excited for what the future brings.”
Duane “Dewey” Jacobs Most Valuable Player – Nick Miller, Hawkeyes
Nick Miller returned to the UCBLL this summer to lead the league with 32 assists and 54 points in nine games. The St. John Fisher grad was also second on the team in goals with 22. The Hawkeyes’ forward helped his team win their first regular season championship in 2022.
“Nick has been playing great ball for us all season,” said Hawkeyes coach Dan Coates. “His leadership and execution on and off the floor have made him a cornerstone for the Hawkeyes. He has elevated his game in big moments and made those around him better. We are lucky to have him wear the green and gold.”
Chris Schiller Unsung Hero – Tyler Gould, Hawkeyes
Tyler Gould captured the Chris Schiller Unsung Hero Award for his dedication and commitment to the Hawkeyes. This season, he posted one goal and five assists in his inaugural season in the UCBLL. Gould helped the Hawkeyes win their final three games to finish first with a 6-3 record.
“Tyler has been a big surprise for us this year,” said Coates. “We didn’t really know what to expect from him at the start of the year. Every practice and game, he kept getting better and better. We gave him more responsibility, which paid dividends for his game and our team. He has been one of our most consistent defenders and steady in our transition game. ‘Gouldy’ is well-deserving for our unsung hero.”