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Penn State’s Sabia (Haverford School), Lehigh’s Chick named Senior CLASS All-Americans

Thursday, 30th May 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/30/19
From Press Release

Penn State men’s lacrosse senior captain and First Team All-American Chris Sabia (Haverford School) was named to the Senior CLASS Award First Team.

Chris Sabia (Photo by Rene Schleicher)

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Sabia is a labor and employment relations major, who is also earning a business minor and will graduate with both to his name in his four years at Penn State. He has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors during both of his eligible seasons. He plans on going into a sales career, while also hoping to play professional lacrosse. He also plans on coaching lacrosse and giving back to the game at the youth level.

Sabia was named a 2018-19 team captain for his work ethic and his competitive nature, which helps lead the Penn State men’s lacrosse team. Sabia said, “I lead on and off the field by being an example of how to act in certain situations, both socially and academically. I like to think I have become a role model for my teammates and the community around me.” Head Coach Jeff Tambroni had this to say about Sabia: “When you look at the core values of our program—work ethic, compassion and an ability to compete without fear or complaint—Chris [Sabia] embodies all of them, but when it comes to being a competitor, he is a fearless and appropriate bearer of the symbolic No. 16.”
The No. 16 will be worn by Sabia in 2018 as he was selected by former Nittany Lion Ryan Keenan to next wear the number, which has been presented annually since 2016 to a senior who best represents the “Heart of a Competitor” in honor of Penn State’s “Teammate for Life” Connor Darcey. Connor passed away tragically on June 12, 2015, in a car accident, prior to his redshirt junior season.
During his summer and winter breaks throughout college, Sabia has worked a full-time construction job. This summer he worked the construction job during the day, lifted and conditioned in the afternoon, and at night he took three summer classes. Sabia is also a two-year veteran of Penn State’s Athletics Directors Leadership Institute.

Sabia has been a staple in leading the Penn State men’s lacrosse team in the community. He led and put together a group of 10 teammates to participate in a day of volunteer work at the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County & ReStore this past fall, and he has also participated in many other community service events. He was a part of the 2018 State College Sustainability and Diversity Expo, in which he shared research and information on different initiatives in the local area. Each of the last four years, Sabia has helped freshmen move into their dorms on campus on Move-In Day and has participated in the “Day of Giving” on Penn State’s campus the last four years. He has built a relationship with the Wounded Warriors Project by participating in the Wounded Warrior Walk, Run and Roll even, as well as a wheelchair basketball event. He has also participated in many THON® functions, including the Student-Athlete Meet & Greet and the THON® Dance Hour.

Sabia was named the 2019 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Big Ten Selection. He was also named a First Team USILA All-American on Thursday evening. He is a two-time USILA Honorable Mention All-American as a defenseman and earned back-to-back All-Big Ten Second Team Honors in 2017 and 2018. Sabia has started all 62 games in his collegiate career, and has accumulated 69 career caused turnovers, 112 ground balls, eight goals and an assist in his time at Penn State. The senior defenseman was also named to the 2018 USILA Player of the Year Watch List to open the season. Sabia has been part of 44 total wins including the Nittany Lions winning the 2019 Big Ten regular season title after the team went 5-0 in conference play. He also led the Penn State defense to help the Nittany Lions earn the program’s first No. 1 ranking in history. In 2018, he finished the season, second in the Big Ten in caused turnovers per game at 1.36, moving up from his third-place finish in 2017 with 1.25.

Lehigh’s Chick named Senior CLASS Award first team All-American
Following a historic senior season, and career, Lehigh men’s lacrosse senior Craig Chick has been named a Senior CLASS Award first team All-American. The NCAA all-time career leader in caused turnovers, Chick has also made his presence felt off the field as well. Chick is Lehigh’s third student-athlete named a first team Senior CLASS Award All-American in program history, each coming in the last nine seasons. Jonathan Stumpf (2011) and Ty Souders (2014) were the others.

Chick was one of two Patriots Leaguers need to the first team, along with Army’s Johnny Surdick. Loyola’s Pat Spencer and Jacob Stover were named to the second team.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

In total, eight Mountain Hawks have been named Senior CLASS Award candidates since 2011. Each of the three finalists have been named first team All-Americans. Others named candidates were Ryan Snyder in 2013, Dan Taylor in 2015, Casey Eidenshink in 2016, Cody Triolo in 2017 and Andrew Pettit in 2019. Lehigh has had at least one candidate in seven of the last nine seasons. This marked the first time the Mountain Hawks have featured multiple candidates in the same season.

To be eligible for the Senior CLASS Award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Chick has enjoyed impressive success at a prestigious institution; Lehigh is currently tied for 46th nationally in the U.S. News and World Report top national universities. Chick is in Lehigh’s business program as a Finance major. As a freshman, he was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for a semester GPA over 3.2 during his competitive (spring) season. Chick also garnered the Faculty Athletics Council Award.

Chick has shown strong character as a two-time team captain, devoting 20+ hours per week to weight training, skill work, practice, conditioning, film study and team meetings. Within the men’s lacrosse program, different councils have been created, with Chick heavily involved in the Academic Council (council of five to oversee the academic success of the team) and Leadership Council (council of voted-upon individuals from each class to handle the vision and goals of the team). Chick has taken part in Flight 45, Lehigh Athletics’ Leadership Academy, in both the Emerging Leaders Program (hand-picked student-athletes to undergo leadership development and education) and Leadership Legacy Program (second installment of leadership program for a select few among various athletic teams).

Chick and the Mountain Hawks have continually taken part in community service. Just a few days into every fall semester, the program holds its annual community service kickoff for the City of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation. Chick and the Mountain Hawks have also hosted Community Night in the past when they opened their doors to all members of the community for an hour-long free lacrosse clinic. In each of the last two seasons, Lehigh has taken part in the Nicholas Colleluori Classic. Lehigh joined forces with the HEADstrong Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing essential services to improve lives affected by cancer. In 2017, Lehigh Lacrosse more than quadrupled its initial fundraising goal of $3,000 by raising $13,339 for HEADstrong’s 2017 “Go Lime” campaign. It was the most money raised by any team or group of teams in the entire campaign. Then this past fall (2018), the Mountain Hawks absolutely shattered their goal, raising over $20,000 for the fight against cancer.

In the past, the Mountain Hawks have also taken part in the Reading Rocks program at local Donegan Elementary School. With Reading Rocks, the whole team spent approximately one hour with the students, helping them read before getting to know the youngsters through playing games and other activities. Every holiday season, each team takes part in Adopt-A-Family when they provide a holiday for a local underprivileged family. The process includes shopping for gifts, wrapping them and delivering them in early December.

On the field, Chick helped the Mountain Hawks get back to championship contention as Lehigh advanced to its second straight title game in 2019. Chick was named a second team USILA and Inside Lacrosse/Media All-American following his senior campaign. It marked his second straight second team Media All-America honor, and the first time he was named a second team USILA All-American (he was named honorable mention in 2018). Chick became Lehigh’s highest USILA All-American since 1926. Chick is a three-time Media All-American overall, also garnering honorable mention as a sophomore.

One of three Lehigh seniors named to the USILA North-South All-Star Game, Chick posted 42 caused turnovers this season, breaking his school record for a third straight year and breaking the all-time NCAA record for his career – finishing with 160. As a freshman, Chick had 37 to lead the nation, going on to post a program-record 40, 41 then 42 over the next three seasons. In the Patriot League Championship Game vs. Army West Point, Chick had three caused turnovers to break the previous mark of 158 held by Detroit’s Jordan Houtby. Chick caused 16 turnovers over the final four games of his career.

Chick was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week three times during the season and at the end of the regular season, was named first team All-League for a third straight year. One of his many highlights came at No. 15 Rutgers when he caused a turnover defensively, which led to him scoring a goal on the other end just moments later, sparking Lehigh’s 8-2 run to end the game for a thrilling 13-10 victory. His 2.47 caused turnovers per game in 2019 are good for third in the nation. Chick was named to the Patriot League All-Tournament team. He was selected by the Dallas Rattlers in the second round of the Major League Lacrosse Draft, and recently signed with the Rattlers.

Lacrosse 2019 Senior CLASS Winner
Name Position School
Ryan Conrad Midfield University of Virginia
First Team
Name Position School
Craig Chick Defense/Long-Stick Midfield Lehigh University
Chris Sabia (Haverford School) Defense Penn State University

Johnny Surdick Defense United States Military Academy
Jack Tigh Midfield Yale University

Second Team
Name Position School
Tate Boyce Goalkeeper Providence College
Zach Goodrich Defensive Midfield Towson University
Colton Jackson Midfield University of Denver
Pat Spencer Attack Loyola University Maryland
Jacob Stover Goalkeeper Loyola University Maryland

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