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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s lacrosse program wrapped up their seventh annual Alumni, Family and Friend’s Weekend that welcomed back many generations of Nittany Lions, wrapped up the 2017 season and allowed fans to get a quick glance at the 2018 squad with the team’s Blue and White Scrimmage on Friday evening.
Friday evening was both the Blue and White game and the Alumni game, and despite the construction on the new Panzer Stadium, fans came out in droves to see Nittany Lions from the past and to get a sneak peek for the upcoming season.
On Saturday, the alumni hit the links in the annual golf outing. With 36 foursomes in action, the day was filled with excitement.
The weekend concluded with a banquet, recapping the 2017 season, and the honoring of the 2017 team award recipients.
Nick Aponte was presented with the Pittenger Award. From 1947-2010, presented to the most valuable senior in memory of George Pittenger, a Nittany Lion lacrosse player (1940-41) who was killed in action in Germany on April 30, 944, while serving in the U.S. Army. Aponte was named both a USILA All-American and a USILA Scholar All-American following his senior season. On the field, Aponte was a two-time consensus First Team All-Big Ten performer, capping off a stellar final season with 24 goals and 33 assists for 57 points, tied for 10th most in a single season in program history. The USILA All-America honorable mention finished his Penn State tenure with 140 career points on 70 goals and 70 assists, ranking the 11th most by a Penn State player all-time. His 70 career assists rank eighth most in program history.
Mike Sutton was presented with the Citizenship award, which is given to a member of the team who best combines the qualities of character, classroom and community service.
The Hard Hat Award went to Matt Donnelly. This award presented to the member of the team whose persistence, work ethic and courage set a “blue collar” standard for the program.
Beginning in 2011, the Theil Family Nittany Lion Award presented to a member of the team whose actions, investments and selfless contributions are synonymous with the mantra “Success with Honor” and who sets the standard of “The Penn State Lacrosse Way.” Tanner Peck earned this award following the 2017 season.
The Tom Hayes Nittany Lion Teammate Award is presented to a member of the team whose actions and words embody what being a great teammate is all about; having compassion for those around you and genuinely caring more about the team than personal needs. Following the 2017 season, Billy Lombardi earned this honor.
The Friends of Penn State Lacrosse Award went to Rich Makover, Andy Gustafson, and Gary Martin for going above and beyond in their support of the program.
The Penn State men’s lacrosse team wrapped up an exciting weekend that tied together both the past and the present and now looks forward to their fall ball tournament on Oct. 14. The Nittany Lions will head to Hofstra for the HEADStrong Foundation Nicholas Colleluori Classic where they will play Lehigh and host Hofstra.