July 9, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland senior Joe Fletcher has been named the 2013-14 Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the League office. Fletcher earned the prestigious honor after being named the 2014 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's lacrosse in the spring. The voting was conducted by one sports information director from each school around the League who could not cast a ballot for their own student-athletes.
The award goes to a men's lacrosse player for the third consecutive year and for the fourth time in the last five years. Fletcher follows up back-to-back wins by 2013 Army graduate Brendan Buckley. This is the second occasion that the award has gone to a recipient from the same sport on three straight occasions.
Fletcher captures the honor in the Greyhounds first season competing as a member of the Patriot League. Army senior cross country runner Kendall Ward was runner-up in the 2014 voting and Navy senior golfer Chris House was third. Army boasts a League-best six Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year, followed closely by Navy with five.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native earned a record five Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week awards and was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a first-team All-Patriot League pick and to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team. A close defenseman, Fletcher led all NCAA Division I players in ground balls per game (4.71) and total ground balls (80) while causing a career-high 31 turnovers. A three-time USILA All-American and two-time member of the first team, Fletcher was also one of five finalists for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award as the nation's top player. Fletcher became the first player in school history to earn a positional player of the year award when he was named the 2014 recipient of the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation's top defender.
In April, Fletcher received Loyola's John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department's top male senior student-athlete. He was a member of Loyola's Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who meet regularly and serve as liaisons to the University's president, administration and board of trustees. Fletcher served as the co-president of Loyola's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as well, in 2013-2014.
In the classroom, Fletcher posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average in his final semester to finish with a 3.835 mark and graduate with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree. He is the first student-athlete in program history to earn Capital One Academic All-America honors when he was named to the At-Large second team. He started a job with Pricewaterhouse Coopers this summer.
The third overall pick in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft in January, Fletcher played his first professional game for the New York Lizards on the same day as his graduation from Loyola. He helped his team capture an 11-9 win over the Ohio Machine and was named the MLL's Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending May 18. Fletcher was a member of the 30-man United States Men's Lacrosse National Team from which the roster for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships was chosen. He was the only collegiate player on that list, and he was also the lone collegian in the 52-man training pool.
The winner of each sport's Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is put in the running towards the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, with the League's sports information directors selecting one male and one female for the award. Others in contention for the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award were American senior John Pope (outdoor track and field), Lafayette senior Mark Ross (football), Army junior Winston Boldt (soccer), Army junior Christopher Kittle (indoor track and field), Boston University junior Cole Puchi (swimming and diving), Lafayette junior Cory Spera (baseball), Army junior Alex Van Velzer (tennis) and American sophomore Jesse Reed (basketball). All class years are from the 2013-14 academic year.
To be eligible for the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen are not eligible for this honor.