Tom Schreiber headlines the 2023 PLL End of Year Awards with his third Jim Brown MVP Award
By Sarah Griffin | Sep 6, 2023
Jim Brown Most Valuable Player: Tom Schreiber, Archers
“Tom Schreiber is the best player on the best team in the PLL - is it really any more complicated than that?” Archers beat writer Zach Carey wrote early last week.
For the third time in his PLL career, Tom Schreiber captured the Jim Brown Most Valuable Player award.
Schreiber had one of the best seasons of his career this year, which says a lot when you’re Tom Schreiber. He may think of himself as “an assist guy”, but he produced a very-balanced 2023 regular season with 16 1-point goals, 2 two-point goals, and 17 assists. He averaged 1.4 turnovers per game, a career-low and shocking stat for someone who averages 38.8 touches per game.
Beyond that, in a season where the Archers were without so many of their veteran leaders from the past to start off the year, Schreiber and the Archers didn’t miss a beat. He’s led this team to first place with humility and consideration for each and every one of his teammates. It’s tough to find a more widely-respected player and leader on the field than Tom Schreiber.
Brendan Looney Leadership Award: Tom Schreiber, Archers
For all the reasons above, it’s no shock Schreiber took home the Brendan Looney Leadership Award as well.
“Tom’s a consummate leader,” Archers head coach Chris Bates told Zach Carey. “It’s a different locker room than it was last year. His role has elevated in terms of his voice. It’s been fun to watch. He doesn’t get too high or too low. When he speaks everyone listens. Then game in, game out, he makes those plays that set the tone for you.”
“He’s always such a crucial part of our team, but this year in particular he steps up when we need him to step up. Every game he’s consistently leading our team,” added teammate Connor Fields.
Gait Brothers Midfielder of the Year: Tom Schreiber, Archers
Hopefully Schreiber made some room on his mantle for his three new awards.
To no surprise, his MVP campaign this year also earned him the Gait Brothers Midfielder of the Year title for the fourth time in his career.
Eamon McEneaney Attackman of the Year: Marcus Holman, Cannons
Aging like a fine wine indeed.
At 32 years old, Marcus Holman earned his first Attackman of the Year award after a standout season in his first year with the Cannons.
With 44 points in 10 games (29 1G, 1 2G, 13A), Holman quarterbacked the new-look Cannons offense alongside fellow nominee and teammate Asher Nolting and a legendary competitor in Matt Kavanagh. The Cannons’ ranked number one in offensive efficiency in 2023 with a league-high 130 goals, shooting 31.3% as a team.
After spending the entirety of his PLL career with the Archers for the last four years, Holman’s game has elevated to a new level. The Cannons are hot, and that wouldn’t be the case without the vet.
Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of the Year: Garrett Epple, Redwoods
Hate to play against him, love to have him on your side, Garrett Epple rightfully earned his first Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of the Year award.
Epple caused 16 turnovers and won 26 groundballs for the ‘Woods. He was a force of nature on the field and after a tough 2022 season for the Redwoods’ defense, he led them back right where they needed to be.
He’s tough, he’s strong, and he’s the ultimate competitor. The veteran may be in his seventh season, but he’s one of the only defenders in the league who can keep up and even keep quiet some of the league’s brightest young attackmen.
Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year: Blaze Riorden, Chaos
Ask Chaos head coach Andy Towers about his goalie, and you’re guaranteed to hear the same thing every time: “greatest player in the world.”
Every lacrosse goalie, from elementary school to college, looks up to Blaze Riorden. For someone playing the most difficult position in all of sports, he makes it look so easy.
This season, Blaze produced a 59.2% save percentage with 135 saves. But he was more than just a brick wall in the cage. Blaze, ever the offensive spark for Chaos, made a career-high four assists.
While Coach Towers might be a bit biased, he’s not wrong. There’s only one Blaze Riorden.
Paul Cantabene Face-off Athlete of the Year: Trevor Baptiste, Atlas
For the third year in a row and fourth time in PLL history, Trevor Baptiste is your Paul Cantabene Face-off Athlete of the Year.
Baptiste won a career-high 77% faceoff percentage at the X this season, along with another career-high with five goals.
There's no other way to describe Baptiste at the X other than complete and utter domination. He’s the best of the best and somehow still continues to improve each and every year.
Brodie Merrill Long Stick Midfielder of the Year: Michael Ehrhardt, Whipsnakes
In 5 seasons of the PLL, there’s only been one winner of the Brodie Merrill Long Stick Midfielder of the Year award. For the fifth year in a row, Michael Ehrhardt is your LSM of the Year.
The 6’5” midfielder is a problem on both sides of the ball for opponents. In 8 games played this season, he won 16 groundballs, caused 6 turnovers, scored 4 1-point goals and one two-pointer, and recorded two assists.
His size and strength gives him the ability to muscle and beat out his opponents, but as a 9-year veteran, his IQ and vision for the game makes him that much more difficult to play against. Ehrhardt continues to revolutionize the position of long stick midfielder every time he takes the field.
George Boiardi Hart Hat Award: Latrell Harris, Archers
The Archers wouldn’t be the best team in the league without the best SSDM unit in the league led by Latrell Harris.
The first of likely many Hard Hat awards for Harris, he caused 6 turnovers with 19 groundballs and 4 points in the 2023 regular season.
At just 25 years old, Harris plays with the mind of a seasoned vet, but moves with the speed of a player fresh out of college. He’s athletic and agile, but knows how to do all the little things right.
With Dominique Alexander’s retirement and Mark McNeill no longer with the Archers, Harris stepped up big time this season. He helped mentor rookies Piper Bond and Connor Maher in combination with adjusting to his new role as a leader on the field.
Rookie of the Year: Tucker Dordevic, Whipsnakes
Tucker Dordevic: as advertised.
The sixth overall pick, Dordevic was a beacon of light for the Whipsnakes in a season riddled with injuries.
Dordevic played all 10 games for the Whips and steadily produced for the offense. He finished his regular season with 26 points (14 1G, 5 2G, 2A) and shooting 31% on 62 shots taken. The rook has one lethal shot.
While his first season maybe over, keep an eye on Dordevic for years to come. He's going to be a problem in this league for a long time.
Dick Edell Coach of the Year: Brian Holman, Cannons
Is anyone surprised? Coach Holman took the Cannons from last place, missing playoffs last year, to the second seed in the 2023 regular season. Now he'll lead them onto the semifinals for the club’s first appearance since they joined the league in 2021.
Coach Holman not only reformed the Cannons on-field performance, he created a new culture of Cannons lacrosse. The chemistry of this team is palpable, and you can feel those guys feed off of one another’s energy. Talk to any of his players and they’ll all say the same thing: Coach Holman is an easy guy to play for.
Always grateful, he thanked every individual player who’s been on the Cannons’ 19-man roster this season in his acceptance speech Saturday night. That’s just the kind of coach and person Brian Holman is.
Dave Huntley Sportsmanship Award: Zed Williams, Whipsnakes
Zed Williams is a class act on and off the field.
His 22-points in 9 games is impressive, but it’s his passion for the game of lacrosse and playing it the right way that earned him the Dave Huntley Sportsmanship Award. From opponents to referees, the love and respect everyone in the lacrosse community has for Zed is well-deserved.
Welles Crowther Humanitarian Award: Eric Law, Atlas
Eric Law has spent the past 11 years dedicating his time and efforts to making the sport of lacrosse accessible to everyone.
“I’ve been given so many opportunities because of lacrosse. I want to give the same chance at these kinds of opportunities back to kids who might not typically get it,” he told me back in December.
“I want to help create more diversity in the sport and make lacrosse more financially-accessible. Regardless of your gender, your race, your social economic class, everyone deserves the opportunity to play lacrosse and it truly is for everybody.”
Director of Lacrosse Development for Denver City Lax, his mission is to create educational and enrichment opportunities for youth in underserved Denver neighborhoods through the sport of lacrosse.
“I had a lot of people give me opportunities, now it’s been my turn the last 10, 11 years. It’s been my greatest honor to give those opportunities to other kids and see them succeed.”
Jimmy Reagan Teammate Award: Cole Kirst, Redwoods
The Redwoods’ third round draft pick, midfielder Cole Kirst has shined in his rookie season. While his stats speak for themselves, Kirst’s become a favorite on the Woods - and it’s not just because of his on-field play.
“He could win Rookie of the Year, but he’d rather win Teammate of the Year. That’s just the kind of guy he is,” Redwoods captain Eddy Glazener said of Kirst earlier last week.
There’s few athletes in any sport who could have a highlight reel of their best moments as a teammate put together, but Kirst isn’t just anyone.
His energy is infectious. He celebrates every one of his teammates’ goals like it’s the championship game-winner, and he always has a smile on his face.
And of course as Syracuse Newhouse graduate, even his acceptance speech brought a smile to the crowd’s face.