The Milford lacrosse team ended their season, which saw them win a Henlopen South Championship before falling to Caesar Rodney in the opening round of the state tournament, surrounded by their friends and family in the Milford High School Cafeteria. The end-of-season banquet serves as a chance for players to eat, parents to be proud, and most important to the kids, awards to be given.
Each year Milford gives out 5 team awards. The awards are Team MVP, Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, Most Improved, and Heart and Hustle.
The Heart and Hustle award is a special recognition for the player who is willing to do all the hard work for his team, even if it means that they may not show up on the score sheet as much. This year’s recipient was senior Don Scott. Scott has played much of his lacrosse career as a strong defensive midfielder, but this year he added some offense to his game as well. He also did a lot of his team’s dirty work, making long, full-field runs to clear the ball. Scott played with a tenacity that was un-paralleled, and his refusal to give up on plays earned him the Heart and Hustle award.
The Most Improved player for the Bucs was also one of the most impressive. Lacrosse is not a sport that can be mastered in a year, but senior Ryan Jones showed immense growth in his first and only year of high school lacrosse. Jones started all 17 games at defense for the Bucs, and even earned Second Team All-Conference recognition. He relied on his athleticism early in the season, but showed great understanding of the game as the season went on. Making All-Conference is an honor in itself, but doing it in his first year playing the sport made Jones the obvious choice for Most Improved.
The Defensive MVP for Milford is senior Michael Judson. Judson played both defense and long-stick midfielder, and was the Bucs go-to guy on defense. Judson had to cover the best player on every team that he faced, but Milford Head Coach Blake Faulkner knew that Judson was always up to the task. “(Judson) is just one of those gifted players than can do anything that you ask of him. He is a natural born lacrosse player, and he has done everything for us defensively since he picked up a lacrosse stick his freshman year,” Faulkner said. Judson also scored a goal this year against Sussex Tech on Senior Night.
Milford’s Offensive MVP went to freshman Conor Christie. Christie exploded offensively for the Bucs, scoring 55 goals in 17 games, and earned himself the nickname, “Con-LeBron” for his offensive capability. In his first game against Delmar, Christie scored 9 goals and recorded 3 assists as well. One of Christie’s biggest contributions to his team is his ability to keep playing in the face of adversity. Even when the Bucs were down, Christie showed a maturity beyond his years by continuing to play when others appeared to give up. “Conor is a kid who plays the game the right way. He works hard every day at practice, and he shows up when we need him. He is a kid that everyone can look forward to having for the next three years,” Faulkner said.
The most coveted award in sports, Team MVP, went to sophomore Jonathan Gaglione. Gaglione finished the season with 44 goals, 31 assists, 157 ground balls, and a face-off win percentage of 57%. Whether it was facing off, scoring goals, or even playing down on the defensive end, #22 for Milford was always involved. “Jon does his job to keep this team going. He is someone that we can turn to when we need a spark, and he holds not only his teammates, but himself as well to a very high standard,” Faulkner said. Gaglione carries a lot of the weight on his shoulders, but he doesn’t let it get to him on the field. When asked how he handles it all he said, “In my head, I just sing.” Keep singing, Jon.
Milford also recognized four varsity players for making Academic All-Conference. They were freshman Ryan Johnson, senior Michael Judson, senior Cohen Bonneville, and junior Shane Gaglione.
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