As we near the voting portion of the Against All Enemies Season Awards, we address one of the tightest races: Male Athlete of the Year. There are a handful of other athletes, who in most years, would have easily won this category. However, across 2018-2019 there were three male athletes who stood above the rest. Coincidentally, these three young men all come from different academies, in different sports: Army Lacrosse, Navy Baseball, and Air Force Soccer.
Johnny Surdick, Army Lacrosse
Johnny Surdick led the Army West Point Men’s Lacrosse team to a Patriot League Championship and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2010. Surdick’s accolades are bountiful. Before the season started, he was selected to be one of the team’s captains. Additionally, Surdick was selected by the Ohio Machine as the 19th pick in the 2019 Major League Lacrosse Draft. Surdick was a defenseman feared by all. By earning the William C. Schmeisser Award, from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, Surdick was recognized at the nation’s top defensive player. Army finished at 13 in the Final Men’s Lacrosse Polls thanks to Johnny Surdick’s leadership and performance on the field.
Noah Song, Navy Baseball
Navy’s Ace, Noah Song, racked up the awards and recognition in 2019, and rightly so. Song posted an outstanding record of 11-1, with an ERA of merely 1.44. Essentially, if Song was on the mound in 2019, Navy could almost guarantee they would win the game. This probably explains why he was one of four Golden Spikes Award Finalist. The Golden Spikes Award is given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player by USA Baseball. The 2019 Golden Spikes winner was Adley Rutschman, the number one pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. This just goes to show the company in which Song is regarded. Speaking of the draft, Noah Song was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round. Many projected Song to be selected in the first two rounds; however, it is safe to say his military commitment and uncertainty of ability to play discouraged many teams from drafting him sooner.
Tucker Bone, Air Force Soccer
The Air Force Men’s Soccer team are already on of the nominees for the Against All Enemies Upset of the Year. The Falcons knocked off the University of Denver in the NCAA Tournament in 2018. Naturally, the Falcon’s star midfielder, Tucker Bone, scored one of the two goals that they needed to pull off the upset. Bone’s performance in this game among many others demonstrated to MLS scouts that he could step up in big games with the pressure on. Furthermore, he showed he could carry a team to victory. Bone’s ability to control the midfield earned him a first-round pick by the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders selected him 20th overall. Again, this number may have been slightly deflated due to the military’s policy on service academy athletes playing professionally immediately after commissioning.
And there you have our nominees for male athlete of the year. Who will you chose? Voting starts on Wednesday June 19th as we look to highlight the best players and performances of the 2018-2019 service academy athletic season!