October 26, 2011

Call to Hall 2011: Allison, Huntley, Lawlor, Reese

by Josh Moyer | LaxMagazine.com

The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame will induct seven new legends, including four male members — three players and one administrator — into the Class of 2011 on Saturday at The Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley, Md.

Former USILA President Bruce Allison, Johns Hopkins' Dave Huntley, Navy's Jake Lawlor and Yale's Jon Reese will join more than 350 other lacrosse greats inside the Hall of Fame, located at US Lacrosse headquarters in Baltimore.

The trio of players have combined for nine All-America honors, three national awards, two national titles and countless other accolades. Allison was selected because of his contributions to lacrosse, including his implementation of the NCAA playoff system.

Below is a look at the accomplishments and the personalities of the 2011 men's inductees. Check back to LaxMagazine.com on Thursday for a look at the three women in this year's class: Traci Davis, Suzanne Honeysett McKinny and Sandra Lanahan Zvosec.

Bruce Allison

Why he's in: USILA President (1982-1984) and Cabinet Member (1966-1995) who developed and implemented the current playoff system; United States Lacrosse Coaches Association (USLCA) President (1969-1971) and Board Member; honored with the Howdy Meyers Award of Outstanding Contribution to Lacrosse (1992) and formed the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Lacrosse League (1978).

The skinny: Allison wore many hats during a long and fruitful lacrosse career that spanned about half a century — student, athlete, coach, president, athletic director — but he will best be remembered as an administrator who molded the world of NCAA lacrosse into what it is today.

The former Marine had a never-say-die attitude that was evident when more than half of lacrosse teams voted down his 1969 NCAA playoff proposal. He continued at it, however, with a clear vision of spreading the sport he loved from coast to coast. That same 1969 proposal was implemented just two years later, in 1971.

Lacrosse would never be the same, niche-driven sport it was before. And Allison would soon be known as one of the founding fathers of the modern college lacrosse system.

He has already been inducted into seven other Halls of Fame (including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the US Lacrosse Colorado Chapter) and was named United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates Man of the Year in 1971.

Dave Huntley

Why he's in: Two-time All-America first team (1977, 1979) and second team (1978) led Johns Hopkins to two national championships; USILA MacLaughlin Award for nation's best midfielder (1979); member of the All-Time Johns Hopkins Team (1979).

The skinny: "Hot Rod" Huntley had all the ingredients for greatness — size, stamina, speed, strength — and he was able to combine them all in a recipe for both personal and team success. Huntley was one of the greatest players of his day, but he's best known for one particular part to his game: Shot power.

Huntley's shots caused fits for opposing goalies. Sometimes, it seemed easier to hear Huntley's whizzing shots than see them. During one game, the Canada native's shot was so fast it literally ripped through the top of the net.

Huntley's legend has just grown as time has passed: It's rumored his shot was once clocked at over 100 mph. Even if that lore can't be proved, there's no doubt Huntley was a key piece to Johns Hopkins' pair of national titles.

Jake Lawlor

Why he's in: Two-time All-America first team (1974, 1975) and honorable mention (1973) who made four NCAA tournament appearances; USILA Schmeisser Award as nation's best defenseman (1975); Stuart Oxnard Trophy as Navy's team MVP (1975).

The skinny: As soon as Lawlor stepped foot on the field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, it was evident he would make a lasting impression. He was one of the first freshmen in Navy history to start, and his confidence and poise — even as a rookie — surprised his teammates.

His aggressive defensive play as a midfielder that season set the tone for the rest of his career. He quickly became one of the most feared defensemen in the country.

Lawlor's non-stop motor and ability to seemingly stick check at will forced opponents to buy Tylenol by the case. He was a headache for opposing offenses and, during his senior year, was arguably the most dominant player in college lacrosse. He won nearly every possible honor and award — team MVP, national defenseman of the year, All-America first team — and helped guide the Midshipmen to their first-ever NCAA Tournament championship appearance.

Jon Reese

Why he's in: All-America first team (1990) and honorable mention (1988, 1989) led Yale to three Ivy League championships; set NCAA single-season record with 82 goals and remains Yale's all-time leader in goals (162) and points (200); USILA MacLaughlin Award as nation's best midfielder (1990).

The skinny: There's virtually no argument when it comes to debating the best lacrosse player in Yale history: It's Reese. His exploits wearing the Yale Blue & White have risen to almost-mythical proportions. It wasn't uncommon to watch the midfielder score five goals in a game.

His aggressive, linebacker-like mentality allowed him to overcome constant double- and triple-teams. Put simply, there was no way to stop Reese. Coaches planned around him, players tried to stop him, but it didn't seem to matter. Reese was no secret — he was named conference rookie of the year — but his penchant for scoring continued into his senior year when he set the NCAA single-season scoring record. His career records at Yale might never be broken.

He continued his lacrosse career after graduation as a member of the New York Saints in the National Lacrosse League and made the NCAA Silver Anniversary Team in 1995.

Check back to LaxMagazine.com on Thursday for a look at the three women in this year's Hall of Fame class: Traci Davis, Suzanne Honeysett McKinny and Sandra Lanahan Zvosec. Click here for more information on the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

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