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Patriot League 20th Anniversary Profiles: Clipper Lennon

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Jan. 12, 2010

Name: Clipper Lennon
Institution: U.S. Naval Academy
Sport: Lacrosse
Position: Midfield
Graduation Year: 2005
Undergraduate Degree: Mathematics
Did You Know?
Most Clipper Lennon graduated from the Naval Academy with an academic ranking of 40 in his class of 976.

Clipper Lennon epitomized all that a Patriot League student-athlete should represent, and did it in two seasons as Navy men's lacrosse did not join the Patriot League until the 2004 season. His strong devotion guided him to success both on the field and in the classroom. Lennon helped lead the Midshipmen to back-to-back Patriot League Championships in 2004 and 2005 and two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including reaching the NCAA championship game in 2004.

He was instrumental in helping the Midshipmen achieve a No.1 national ranking in scoring defense in 2005. His exceptional play earned him Second-Team All-Patriot League honors his senior year. Lennon was named the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2005, after recording a 4.0 GPA for the fourth-consecutive semester. Lennon graduated from the Naval Academy's honors mathematics program with a 3.87 cumulative GPA.

He began the Lennon tradition at the Naval Academy. His younger brothers, Billy (Class of 2008), Bobby (2009) and Joe (2010) also graduated from the Academy. Clipper started yet another Lennon tradition by wearing #22 throughout his four-year career. Bobby and Joe also donned the same number during their playing career with the Mids.

  • Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2004-05)
  • Patriot League Academic Honor Roll (2004-05)
  • Second-Team All-Patriot League (2005)
  • Second-Team Academic All-America (2005)

    Q: What factors helped in your decision to attend the U.S. Naval Academy?
    A: I felt the Academy could provide some unique opportunities after graduation and the opportunity to compete at a high level athletically while earning a great education.

    Q: What was your proudest on-the-field accomplishment?
    A: Scoring in overtime against North Carolina during my junior season.

    Q: What was your proudest academic accomplishment?
    A: Graduating from the Naval Academy.

    Q: How were you able to balance the demands in the classroom with the demands of being an athlete?
    A: I wanted very much to be successful in the classroom and on the field, so I tried to put forth maximum effort in both. I think being busy with athletics forced me to be more disciplined with my time.

    Q: How did your experience as a student-athlete prepare you for life after college?
    A: I think that participating in college athletics helped prepare me to deal with adversity. When competing athletically, I experienced success and failure on an individual and team level. Those experiences have helped me post-graduation.

    Q: What has life been like in the military like after graduation?
    A: I am currently a pilot flying F/A-18's and based in Oceana, Va. I recently returned from a deployment flying missions over Afghanistan.

    Q: How did it feel to be named the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete twice?
    A: It was a great honor to be recognized in a league with a strong academic reputation.

    Q: If you could go back to college and compete one more time, where would it be and against whom?
    A: I would play the 2004 National Championship again that we lost to Syracuse. Playing in that game, after having a losing season the year before was a huge accomplishment for the team. It still hurt to lose such a close game on such a big stage.

    Q: Can you talk about your memories of playing in NCAA lacrosse tournament?
    A: It was an incredible experience to be at the center of the lacrosse world for that Memorial Day Weekend in 2004. It felt as though most of the crowd was pulling for us to win the National Championship.

    Q: Each of your three brothers (Joe, Bobby, and Billy) followed in your footsteps and attended the Naval Academy. What does it mean to you to start the Lennon tradition at Navy?
    A: I believe that the Academy is a great institution, so I am pleased that they also choose to go there and enter the military.

    Q: If you had to offer current student-athletes some words of wisdom what would they be?
    A: I would say enjoy the camaraderie and the opportunity to compete at such a high level.

    Q: Do you still follow Navy athletics?
    A: I do. I have had a brother on the lacrosse team until this year, so I have tried to make as many games as possible. This year I plan to make it to Annapolis for a game or two.

    Q: Looking back, what does it mean to you to have been a Patriot League student-athlete?
    A: I feel lucky that I was able to compete at a high level both athletically and academically.