PROVIDENCE, RI. – This year's Johnson & Wales University men's lacrosse team set the bar high with the program's first conference championship, but also achieved in the classroom. The Wildcats were recently recognized both nationally and regionally for their academic success.
Senior Max Stone became the first student-athlete in program history to collect Scholar All-America honors from the United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. A native of Burlington, Conn, he posted a 3.75 grade point average in criminal justice. The USILA award is only given to senior student-athletes with 3.0 GPA or higher who are an All-American, a member of a North/South team, or an outstanding league or conference player. Stone was the only selection from the GNAC.
Johnson & Wales also placed four on the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-Academic team. NEILA selections must be a senior with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and be a significant enough player that he was nominated for at least all-conference selection. JWU's four honorees trailed only Bowdoin and Springfield.
Stone – who played in the NEILA East-West Game - was joined on the NEILA All-Academic team by classmates Tony DeMarche, Eric Russo and Sam Sears. Sears, a culinary nutrition major from Baltimore, earned the athletic department's scholar-athlete award for having the highest cumulative GPA in the senior class at a 3.92.
The Wildcats defeated Norwich to win the first conference championship in the program's five-year history. Head coach Nick Coppola will have to replace Russo and Stone, who ended their career as the program's top-two goal scorers.