MLAX Spring Feature: Who could have potentially made it into the AOTY bracket from Wilkes men’s lacrosse?


Madison Hummer

No. 8 Maddie Kelley (women’s basketball/field hockey) and No. 19 Karlye Huffman (women’s volleyball) will face-off in the final Twitter poll to determine the Women’s Athlete of the Year for 2020. Voting will take place on Twitter on the @WilkesBeacon account. Voting begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and runs until 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Coming off of a big win, the Colonels were looking to use that momentum heading into conference play. However, fate had a different story in mind.

COVID-19 ended Wilkes’ season almost as quickly as it began, just four games in.

The season was just starting up when it was canceled, so it’s hard to get a true gage on how we were,” said sophomore Ethan Weaver. “From knowing the guys and knowing how the season was going to progress, I know we were a game or two from really clicking as a team and playing some high-level lacrosse.” 

One of the key players for Wilkes early in the season was senior long-stick midfielder Jack O’Connell. Unfortunately, we will not get to see O’Connell’s senior season, but if it was anything like his last, he would’ve been a prime candidate for The Beacon’s third annual Athlete of the Year tournament.

In his junior season where he made it into the tournament, O’Connell lead his team with 43 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers. He was also named to the Honorable Mention All-MAC Freedom. 

“This season was meant to be our toughest schedule to date, and everyone on the team was ready and excited for the challenge,” O’Connell said. “Our non-conference games were meant to put us in a position to compete well in conference and make playoffs.” 

Another senior impact player who lost his season was attack John Luna. Already having seven goals on the season, Luna showed great promise to be the top-scorer for the Colonels, and the potential to be in the Athlete of the Year tournament.

“I could only hope that my character and actions left some sort of positive impact for the team and their continuous growth,” Luna said. “If they learned anything from me, it’s that any situation could be worse and to appreciate what you have in front of you.” 

Besides the two seniors, Weaver is one of the rising stars on the team who had the potential to stand out this year. 

Last season as a freshman, Weaver had 27 assists, one shy of the team-high 28. His ability to distribute the ball is an asset to the Colonel offense. 

The ability of these three key players had the potential to help bring the team into the MAC Freedom playoffs. 

“It’s just a shame not knowing how well we could have done this season, but I think we left this team in some very capable hands of the underclassmen,” O’Connell said.