Lyle and Miles Thompson’s season may have ended on Saturday in a 14-13 overtime loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals, but, perhaps, the biggest moment in their college career is upon them.
University of Albany standouts have both been nomination for the Tewaaraton Award, akin to the Heisman Trophy, but for lacrosse, will be awarded May 29 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian Washington, D.C.
Thompson brothers are among the five finalists to win the award, the other finalists are Jordan Wolf (Duke), Joe Fletcher (Loyola), and Tom Schreiber (Princeton).
Tewaaraton is the Mohawk name for the game, and the bronze trophy depicts a single Mohawk player adorned in a simple loincloth and golden eagle feather, the Associated Press said. It's mounted on a hexagon-shaped slab of black granite, the six-sided base symbolizing the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy — the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes.
But no Native American player has ever won the award since its inception in 2001, and the Thompson brothers might be the first.
"We've thought about it," Miles told the AP. "It would be pretty cool to win it. It's something that would make our people proud."
Both brothers, who are from the Onondaga reservation, have been exceptional players.
Miles, who is in his senior year, ended the season with 82 goals to match the all-time Division I record for goals in a season. That record was set by Jon Reese in 1990. He also had 37 assists for 119 points, second all-time for a season to his brother, the AP said.
Lyle is the only player in Division I history with two 100-point seasons. This year, he had 51 goals and 77 assists for 128 points; last year, he finished with 113 points (50 goals, 63 assists).
With these accomplishments, it seems impossible that one of the brothers would not take home the award.
"For Lyle or Miles to be the first Native American to win the award, I think it would be pretty special, not only for our program but for them and their family," Albany coach Scott Marr told the wire service. "They've just brought such a neat facet to the game. I'd love to see them share it."