« Lacrosse 2009

Max Seibald

School

Cornell University

Position
Midfield
Major
Applied Economics and Management
G
20
A
8
PTS
28
GB
28

Classroom

Max is the true embodiment of an Ivy League student-athlete who works hard to achieve success both on and off the field. He will graduate from Cornell with a bachelor of arts degree in applied economics and management and holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.22, while consistently taking some of the hardest classes in his major. While he is still interviewing for positions, this past summer, he got real work experience with a prestigious internship with Merrill Lynch in New York city.

Character

When you look at the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team, there is little doubt that Max is the leader, not only on the field, but in the locker room and in the community.  On the field, Seibald found success early in his career and has started for Cornell, a perennial top-10 team, since his arrival on East Hill. Over the past three years, he has had accolades heaped upon him, as he has been considered one of the top players in the nation for the majority of his career. Still, he has never rested on his laurels. He has continuously striven to improve himself and minimize his weaknesses.  He is consistently one of the first players on the field for practice, and one of the last players to leave the field at the end of training. Since his freshman year, he has been the fastest player on the men’s lacrosse team, but over the years, he has competed against himself and improved that time to the point where he now owns the fastest 40-yard dash time in athletic department history. Again, he was one of the strongest players on the team when arriving at Cornell in 2005, but he has worked tirelessly in the gym and now has the best bench press of any player on the team.  Off the field, Seibald’s presence is felt in the locker room, as he walks a fine-line between being approachable to underclassmen and respected by his classmates. At the same time, he is open and honest with the coaching staff, providing an essential conduit between the coaches and the players, without breaking trust on either side.

Seibald mentors the younger players on the team and instills in them a sense of history and pride in the Cornell men’s lacrosse program. He has often said that the motto that he tries to live his life by is “well done is better than well said” and for Seibald that means showing the way to his teammates – always doing the right thing and working hard.
 
As someone who has won awards and is the focus of a great deal of media attention, it would be easy for his classmates to feel jealous of him. However, Seibald is so genuinely humble, and so well-respected, that his classmates accept his constructive criticism, as well as his praise, because they know that he is always striving for perfection in himself and doing what is best for Cornell lacrosse. 
 
The coaching staff has relied on Seibald to lead the team both on and off the field. After serving as team captain last season, Coach Tambroni made Seibald the team’s lone captain this year, marking just the second time since 1966 that the Big Red has had a single captain of the men’s lacrosse team. The reason for this was simple – no other individual on the team came close to matching Seibald’s leadership, work ethic and character.

Community

In the community, Seibald’s efforts are unparalleled and it is here that his leadership qualities shine through. He is involved in various community service projects, typically taking up the leadership mantel, and he often recruits his teammates and inspires them to give their time as well. The projects he is involved with include – Save the Day, The 21 Run, Big Red Readers, Daffodil Days, and Sphinx Head Honor Society.  For the past three years, Seibald has taken the lead in a program called “Save the Day,” serving as co-coordinator both last year and again this year. The program is a joint effort between the Cornell men’s lacrosse team and the Dream Factory of Central, N.Y., to raise money to grant the wishes of chronically and critically ill children. In large part due to Seibald’s efforts, what began in 2004 as a simple fundraising campaign in which members of the Big Red solicited contributions from the community for every save made by a Cornell goalie, has evolved into a year-round service project which includes running a blood drive for the American Red Cross, as well as the Save the Day 3 vs. 3 Youth Lacrosse Tournament.  During his three years, the Save the Day program has raised over $5,550 and has granted two wishes. This year, Seibald is spearheading an aggressive pledge card campaign and in the fall, he led the team in collecting twice as much money as they did all of last year. According to the program’s coordinator, Suzanne Wapner, the Dream Factory hopes to grant three wishes this year with the money raised by the Big Red, including a new computer for one child, a trip to Disneyland for another, and a trip for young boy to meet the Dallas Cowboys.  The Save the Day blood drive has been a great success over the past two years, and in its first year, the team exceeded its goal by nearly 30 percent, collecting enough blood to help save the lives of nearly 150 critically or chronically ill members in our community. Seibald has been instrumental in organizing the past two campaigns and has volunteered his time at the collection site.  The Save the Day 3 vs. 3 Youth Lacrosse Tournament raised over $2,000 for the Dream Factory in its first season and was so well attended that Seibald and the team are in the midst of planning an even bigger tournament that will take place later this month.  Seibald has also been active in the planning of the 21 Run for the past three years and this year he will take over one of the yet to be determined committee chairs. The event, which honors the late Mario St. George Boiardi, who wore the No. 21 as captain of the Cornell men’s lacrosse team, raises money each year for the Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca as it works towards its mission to promote children’s literacy in the Ithaca community. Last year’s race had more than 300 runners and raised over $5,000.  On a more intimate level, Seibald is heavily involved with Big Red Readers, a program which promotes literacy by bringing Cornell athletes into one of the local elementary schools to read to the students for an hour. He typically takes part in Big Red Readers at least once every other week, but will go every week if his schedule allows it.  As a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, Seibald takes part in numerous community service projects, including the fraternity’s largest fundraiser – Daffodil Days, a program that raises a significant amount of money for the American Cancer Society. Last spring, ATO raised approximately $15,000.  Finally, Seibald is a member of the Sphinx Head Honor Society, a group that recognizes members of the Cornell senior class who have given their time and passion to the university during their undergraduate years. It is the university’s oldest secret senior honor society, and its goal is to quietly uplift the Cornell community through volunteerism. Membership is diverse, representing all segments of the student population, and all members serve as leaders in their respective Cornell communities. The group does a number of volunteer projects throughout the year.

Competition

One of the recent greats in a lacrosse program full of legendary players, Seibald is a three-time All-American and has been named first-team All-Ivy three times. His lacrosse career is one full of accolades and impressive numbers. As a freshman, he was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, as a sophomore, he was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy (considered the Heisman Trophy of men’s lacrosse) and last season, he was a finalist for the USILA national player of the year. In just three seasons, he has already scored 100 career points and has helped the Big Red earn three Ivy League titles and three trips to the NCAA tournament, including a trip to the national semifinal in 2007.  Countless times in his career, he has scored a game-tying or game-winning goal.  Few Big Red fans will ever forget that as a sophomore he scored the game-winning goal against Syracuse to preserve Cornell’s undefeated season.