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GCU Men’s Lacrosse Honored with MCLA Scholar-Athlete Awards

November 30, 2017

By Jesse Vineyard/GCU Staff

They’re already proven winners on the field. Now they have reason to show they get the job done in the classroom, too.

The Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association recently announced its 2017 Scholar Athletes, and three Grand Canyon University Men’s Lacrosse players were amongst the honorees.

Joe Balestrieri, Jack Lamey and Brandon Suchand were named with 165 others that maintained at least a 3.20 grade point average as well as earn an All-Conference postseason award. Balestrieri took home the 2017 MCLA Player of the Year along with Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team Attack. Lamey was SLC Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team Long-stick Midfielder, while Suchand was First-Team Defense.

“We’re proud of those guys,” Lopes’ Head Coach Manny Rapkin said. “You have to maintain a certain academic standard, and many of our guys have maintained that standard.

“It’s the icing on the cake for all three.”

For Suchand, this was his third time being named an MCLA Scholar Athlete. Having already won multiple national titles and All-Conference awards, being a three-time Scholar Athlete recipient only adds to what Suchand was able to accomplish at GCU.

“This award was one of the more important awards that I’ve received, up there with winning two national championships,” Suchand said. “I believe it shows my same work ethic, and that I can apply it on the field as well as the classroom and other areas of my life.”

All three as well majored in the Colangelo College of Business. Balestrieri, an Entrepreneurship major, and Suchand, a Business Management major, graduated back in May. Lamey, a junior Finance major, is on track to graduate this year. With each being chosen for this award and part of the same program, the meaning is able to resonate even more.

“These young men certainly deserve it,” College of Business Dean Randy Gibb said. “It’s great for the university they do well on the field, but we want to see them graduate and succeed in life. It’s all about seeing them grow as young men and become leaders in society.”

Since 2012, the Men’s Lacrosse program has been awarded with 12 MCLA Scholar Athletes.

“They all set a standard for the program in every way,” Rapkin said. “Gameday, classroom, leadership – all are just great teammates.

“We’re thankful they were here and were able to make the impact they did.”