Thompson Brothers Share Tewaaraton Player of the Year Honors
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2014) -- University at Albany men's lacrosse stars Miles and Lyle Thompson became the first co-winners of the Tewaaraton Award, the sport's version of the Heisman Trophy.
The trophy, given to the best player in the nation, was awarded Thursday night at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. The Thompsons are the first Native Americans to win the Tewaaraton.
Miles and Lyle Thompson celebrate winning the 2014 Tewaaraton Trophy with their family.
Lyle, a junior and the only player in Division I history with two 100-point seasons, had 51 goals and a record-tying 77 assists for 128 points. Last year, he finished with 113 points (50 goals, 63 assists), one off the previous mark set by Steve Marohl (37 goals, 77 assists) of UMBC in 1992.
Miles, a senior, finished the season with 82 goals in 18 games, matching the all-time Division I record for goals in a season set in 1990 by Jon Reese of Yale. Miles also had 37 assists for 119 points.
The brothers, along with their cousin Ty, led UAlbany on a historic season, that included a second consecutive America East championship and first-round victory in the NCAA Tournament over top-ranked UMBC. The Great Danes saw their 2014 season end in the NCAA quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Notre Dame in overtime, 14-13.
"It is the best feeling to share the award with my brother and be the first Native Americans to win it," Miles said. "No words can express this feeling. We grew up together, we stuck together throughout high school, and it shows how close we are."
"Words cannot describe how happy I am. It brought tears to my eyes," Lyle added. "To share the award with my brother is an honor. For us, it is about bringing a positive influence and helping people, not just Native Americans, but everyone."
Tewaaraton is the Mohawk name for their game, and the bronze trophy depicts a single Mohawk player adorned in a simple loincloth and golden eagle feather. 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. Lyle and Miles were both born on a Mohawk reservation, and are members of the Onondaga Nation.