Major League Lacrosse's David Huntley Man of the Year Finalists

PHOTO BY ANNE EVANS

The Connecticut Hammerheads nominated Kris Alleyne for David Huntley Man of the Year.


Major League Lacrosse (MLL) has announced the 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. The winner will be announced Thursday.

The nominees are Isaiah Davis-Allen (Chesapeake Bayhawks), Mikie Schlosser (Denver Outlaws), Tommy Palasek (Philadelphia Barrage), Mark Ellis (New York Lizards), Zach Goodrich (Boston Cannons) and Kris Alleyne (Connecticut Hammerheads).

The Chesapeake Bayhawks 2020 David Huntley Man of the Year award nominee is team captain Isaiah Davis-Allen. Davis-Allen, who wrapped up his fourth MLL season last month, led the charge for change this summer, calling upon all lacrosse fans to help make the sport more inclusive. His voice and demand for better representation in our league and our sport reached across the nation through interviews with the Capital Gazette, US Lacrosse, Inside Lacrosse, the Washington Post, among others. He is leading ongoing discussions with the league and the Bayhawks to create new opportunities for minority players and lacrosse players of all ages and backgrounds throughout the communities MLL serves.

Davis-Allen’s intent to grow the sport has been a part of his modus operandi for years. Davis-Allen served as a coach for Nation United Lacrosse, an organization that strives to support participation in lacrosse across ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic boundaries, for the last three years.

“Isaiah is a great player and a tremendous leader,” said Bayhawks head coach Tom Mariano. “He’s very involved in his community and a leader in making changes to diversify lacrosse. He is a great role model for everyone in the sport in how to do things right on and off the field.”

Mikie Schlosser is the Denver Outlaws’ nominee for the David Huntley Man of the Year award. He has captained the Outlaws for the last two years, and he serves across a variety of lacrosse communities, including his hometown of Davis, California. He is the head coach at his alma mater, Davis Senior High School, where he tirelessly elevates lacrosse to the next level. Schlosser also coaches the Davis Knights youth program, constantly reminding young players to play for their love of the game.

Outside California, Schlosser travels across the country to assist at lacrosse camps and clinics for players of all ages. He is a player that every team in the league would take in a heartbeat; his attitude is infectious to everyone. He plays with such selfless joy for the game, and he serves as an inspiration to all players to stay positive, dedicated, and determined to play beyond the limits.

“I have been involved with Major League Lacrosse the past 13 years of my life as a player, coach, and now team president,” said Outlaws team president Matt Bocklet. “I have been fortunate to be a part of some great locker rooms, but I have never met a better teammate and person than Mikie Schlosser. He truly only cares about the success of the team and is willing to sacrifice his personal goals to make sure that the team always comes first. There is no better person to represent the Denver Outlaws or our league as a whole.”

The Philadelphia Barrage 2020 nominee for the David Huntley Man of the Year Award is attackman Tommy Palasek. After finishing his first season with the Barrage last month, Palasek has given nine years to MLL with no end in sight.

“Tommy is such an awesome guy to have on our team, both on the field and in the locker room,” said Barrage Captain and fellow MLL veteran Liam Byrnes. “He’s been loyal to the league for a long time. I’ve enjoyed the past three seasons spent with him, as he is a great friend, a fierce competitor and leader on our attack. His passion for this game and all that he has done for our team, the players, and the sport exemplifies why Tommy is the right man to be the Barrage’s Huntley Man of the Year.”

Palasek’s experiences with those looking up to him go far beyond his MLL teams. He’s spent time coaching at the high school level since 2014, making selfless and meaningful contributions to the game of lacrosse and to his community. The Syracuse alumnus is passionate about the growth of lacrosse and is outspoken with his support for growing programs, such as Uganda Lacrosse, on social media.

“I see this award as an opportunity to recognize a player who stands for what Hunts stood for. That should be second chances, perseverance, and loyalty,” said Head Coach, Spencer Ford. “The player that embodies this more than any other is Tommy Palasek. Tommy enters the locker-room, steps on the field, and thinks first about the team. He puts it all on the line every single game. On top of it all, Tommy was the last player Hunts recruited to play for MLL’s Atlanta Blaze.”







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 on the 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.”

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