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It's Tewaaraton Time

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Since 2001, the fine people at the Greater Washington Sports Alliance and the University Club of Washington, DC have handed out The Tewaaraton Award.  For the uninitiated, its the lacrosse Heisman.  For the rest of us, it's the award that should belong to Syracuse ever year.  And yet it doesn't.  This is disconcerting.

A Syracuse player has won the award three times (Mikey Powell '02, Mikey Powell '04, Mike Leveille '08).  The other years, it was given out as a courtesy to the less-fortunate.  

Syracuse's Joel White is here to try and ensure that isn't the case again this year.  White is among the five finalists for the men's award.  White is an unlikely candidate as a long-stick middie who only scored six goals this season.  But goal output barely begins to describe White's meaning to the team.

He will enter SU’s first-round NCAA Tournament game vs. Army at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Carrier Dome leading the Orange with 71 ground balls. Opposing midfielders rarely even make a feint for the cage when White is covering them. Great anticipation most likely learned on the basketball court has allowed him to intercept a score of passes, and when he gets the ball in transition, look out.

He will also enter the game with 197 career ground balls, a pace that could make him the school’s career leader by the time he departs (Jarett Park leads with 278; records have been kept only since 1988).

Still, some have wondered if White is truly the best representative from this Syracuse team..

White is a fine candidate, but is he the best representative for Syracuse? Junior John Galloway is just one of two Division I goalkeepers (Fairfield senior Joe Marra is the other) to rank in the top 5 in both goals-against average (7.09) and save percentage (.590). And there have been some who assert that senior attackman Cody Jamieson (25 goals and 13 assists) has been the Orange's best player this season.

The Tewaaraton does that dumb thing that a lot of college awards do, which is to announce a semifinalist list weeks in advance and then whittle it down.  Anyone not on that original list can't later on be added.  Syracuse's leading scorer, Chris Daniello, was not on the original list and therefore his surge through the season could not have been recognized either way.

Anyway, chances are White will not win the award.  Like the Heisman, the Tewaaraton favors offensive players and scorers like Duke's Ned Crotty or Stony Brooks' Kevin Crowley.  But Syracuse deserved at least one player at the award ceremony and White is a worthy one at that.

Listen to White on an ESPNU podcast with Quin Kessenich as you breathlessly await the announcement of the Tewaaraton winner, which will be announced Thursday, June 3.

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