MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Former Wesleyan men's lacrosse All-American Harry Stanton '18 added another prestigious accolade to his impressive resume as the New Canaan, Conn. native was chosen by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance (CSWA) as the Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year Award winner.
Stanton—the second Wesleyan athlete to receive the award, joining Devon Carrillo '17 who was honored in 2017—will be honored at the 78th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 28, 2019, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. He'll be joined by Gold Key Award recipients, former college and pro basketball standouts John Bagley and Chris Smith, longtime NFL coach and Super Bowl Champion Chris Palmer, St. Thomas More basketball coach Jere Quinn, and ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen.
"Harry Stanton will certainly go down as one of the best lacrosse players ever in the NESCAC," said Wesleyan head lacrosse coach John Raba. "Not only was Harry a tremendous player with an incredible skill set, he was also one of the greatest leaders in program history. His overall competitiveness, toughness, and desire is unmatched. Harry never backed down and was relentless in his playing style. He is absolutely one of the main reasons why Wesleyan University won its first-ever National Championship!"
Stanton, one of the greatest athletes in the history of Wesleyan Athletics, helped guide the Cardinals to a national title in 2018 with an 8-6 win over perennial powerhouse, No. 3 Salisbury at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Wesleyan's road to the Championship featured wins over No. 8 Cabrini (12-7), No. 2 Tufts (12-11), and No. 1 RIT (19-18).
"First of all, thank you to the CSWA for the award and recognition as I am extremely honored," said Stanton. "It's a really cool accomplishment to cap off an incredible ride at Wesleyan, which included playing with my best friends for the best coach you could ever ask for.
"What we did last season and throughout our time as Cardinals, is and always will be really special. Thank you to my parents who always believed that our group of friends and seniors last year could win it all. My dad would always tell me that we could win a National Championship. That's where my belief stemmed from. Thank you Coach Raba for creating a culture that instills honesty, hard work, and camaraderie. Finally, thank you to all the Dirty Birds, past and present. Still Natty Champs!"
For his career, Stanton was named the Most Outstanding Player of the National Championship; a three-time All-American, All-Region and All-Conference selection; and the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. He also concluded his career as the program's all-time leader in goals (224) and finished second in points (287), and holds the record for most goals in a single season (86). Additionally, Stanton excelled in the classroom and was named a Scholar All-American by the USILA.
Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner are $75 and may be reserved by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-394-5091.