CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The 2012 University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team was honored last Friday at the annual team banquet held at the Carolina Club in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center. Senior attackman Marcus Holman and 2012 alumnus Mark Staines, a defenseman, were each honored with two team awards.
Holman, a senior attackman from Baltimore, Md., won the Turnbull Trophy as the team's overall most valuable player as well as the accolade as the squad's most valuable offensive player. A second-team All-America and first-team All-ACC selection, Holman had one of the most decorated offensive seasons in Tar Heel lore. Holman tallied 39 goals last season, the eighth most in a single campaign, had 35 assists, the fourth most in a season, and led the Tar Heels with 74 points (30 more than the second place point producer). His 74 point have only been exceeded by Bruce Ledwith's 81 points in 1973 and Dennis Goldstein's 75 points in Carolina's 1991 NCAA championship season.
Mark Staines, a 2012 alumnus and team tri-captain last year with Holman and Charlie McComas, captured both the defensive most valuable player award and the Ralph T. "Rip" Davy, III Memorial Award for Senior Leadership. Staines toiled as one of the stalwarts of the defensive midfield for four years and also played some short stick midfield and did long-stick face-off duties during his time. The Gambrills, Md., native was the fourth Staines brother to play at UNC joining Ronnie (2001-04), Billy (2003-06) and Ben (2004-07).
Junior midfielder R.G. Keenan of Perry Hall, Md., won the Holmes Harden, Sr. Memorial Award for most ground balls for the second successive year. As a sophomore in 2011, he was named a first-team All-America. He led the Tar Heels in ground balls with 102, running his two-year UNC total to 211. Keenan won 205 of his 340 face-offs in 2012, a winning percentage of .603. He had three goals and two assists on the campaign. The 102 ground balls are the ninth most in a single season in UNC history while the 205 face-off wins are the fourth most in a single campaign.
The Needham Unsung Hero Award went to junior midfielder Ryan Creighton of West Chester, Pa. Creighton was an honorable mention All-America last season. He has seven goals, six assists and 20 ground balls in 2012 while playing both offensive and defensive midfield as a short-stick.
Three Tar Heel players from 2012 shared the Jay Gallagher Memorial Award as the outstanding freshman on the squad - attackman Jimmy Bitter of Stowe, Vt., attackman Joey Sankey of Warminster, Pa., and midfielder Chad Tutton of Courtice, Ontario. The duo ranked 2-3-4 in scoring on the UNC squad in 2012. Sankey had 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points while starting 15 games, Bitter had 27 goals (the most by a true freshman since 1973) and 14 assists for 44 points. Tutton was fourth on the team in scoring with 20 goals and six assists for 26 points. He was the leading goal producer in the midfield. He scored at least one goal in each of the last nine games of the season. Bitter copped honorable mention All-America honors and all three were named to the All-Tournament Team at the ACC Tournament, the first time three freshmen from one team have made the squad.
2012 alumnus Thomas Wood (Dallas, Texas) won the Class of 1986 Dan Andrews Sportsmanship Award. He finished his career with 66 goals and 39 assists for 105 points. He finished his career 33rd in points and tied for 30th in goals.
The Kevin Reichardt Memorial Award as the Most Improved Player was garnered by senior defenseman Kieran McDonald of Rye, N.Y. McDonald started 16 games for the Heels last year and led UNC with 16 caused turnovers while also being among the team leaders in ground balls with 38.Sophomore Matt Shannon of Ridgefield, Conn., won the Dick Baddour Academic Success Award for having the highest grade point average on the team during the 2011-12 school year. Athletic trainer Nina Walker was presented with the Danny Fox Memorial Award for Service to Carolina Lacrosse.