Minnich named U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
A year ago, Jake Watson achieved some history for the Warwick boys lacrosse program, becoming its first player to be selected a U.S. Lacrosse All-American.
This spring, Austin Minnich accomplished a benchmark of his own for the Warriors.
The senior midfielder earned the distinction of receiving the Warwick boys’ first-ever U.S. Lacrosse High School Academic All-American honor.
According to laxpower.com, an All-Academic team member is a player who exhibits exemplary lacrosse skills, good sportsmanship on the field, and represents high standards of academic achievement in the classroom. Players should also have left their mark beyond the lacrosse field and the classroom by making significant contributions of service to the school and/or community.
The complete list of this year’s selections won’t be announced by U.S. Lacrosse until later in June and beginning of July. But in 2012, Hempfield’s Stuart Helgeson and Penn Manor’s Harrison Manning were the only two L-L boys lacrosse players to be honored from the Central Pennsylvania region.
"That’s an incredible honor," Warwick coach Wayne Hummer said of Minnich’s selection. "That’s really big."
"My dad (Gary) told me, he got an email about it," Minnich said, "some coaches voted on it, and it turned out that I got selected, so it was real nice. I was pretty surprised. I heard I was in the running for it, but I thought it was a pretty prestigious thing and there would be a lot of candidates and tough to get. But I was glad I got selected. It’s a nice feeling."
Minnich’s credentials speak for themselves.
A Lebanon Valley College recruit, where he will play men’s lacrosse on a full academic scholarship, Minnich ranks in the top four academically of the Warwick Class of 2013.
He also is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Technology Student Association (TSA) engineering team and Knowledge Master Open (KMO), in addition to taking extra SAT tests in Math 2 and Micro-Biology to help prepare for college.
Athletically, Minnich earned seven varsity letters in his high school career – one in football, three in cross country and three in boys lacrosse. This past fall, he helped the Warriors’ boys cross country team finish 20-1.
Academic All-American nominations were given to Penn Manor coach Ken Snyder and Hempfield boss Dave Ondrusek, who represented the L-L League at the Central Pennsylvania chapter of U.S. Lacrosse.
Minnich, as it turned out, was an overwhelming selection for the honor.
"Austin, after looking at everything he does, he’s so well-rounded that in the words of Penn Manor’s Kenny Snyder, he told me, ‘Austin was a shoe-in for Academic All-American,’" Hummer remarked. "All his accolades in classroom blew the other coaches away and they said, ‘Hands down, he’s got to get Academic All-American.’"
This past season, Minnich, a team captain, finished among the scoring leaders for the Warwick boys from his midfielder’s position, netting 20 goals and adding 19 assists. That was no small feat considering he missed four or five games after sustaining an injury in the team’s 7-6 OT loss to Northern York.
"(Austin) came back for the last three games of the season and really helped the team out," Hummer remarked. "He was a team leader. A lot of times, it was like having another coach on the field with us. When he got hurt, he settled right in to that coaching from the sideline role and helping us. All-around, he was a valuable player."
At season’s end, Minnich received Second-Team L-L League All-Star accolades. Plus, the Warwick Boys Lacrosse Parents Association presented him with its 2013 LAX-MAN Scholarship Award and the Kumer Award.
The honors, of course, didn’t stop there.
"It means a lot to me (being the first from the Warwick boys program to be named U.S. High School Academic All-American)," Minnich said. "We’re a pretty new program, but we’ve still been around for a little while. So it does mean a lot that I was the first, but hopefully there’s more to come."
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