Frank Lombardo

Senior Leadership Vital Now, Maybe More Than Ever

by Frank Lombardo July 12, 2022 in Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Softball, Volleyball


The Senior CLASS Award has wrapped up another year with terrific student-athletes being honored for the contributions they made to their teammates, communities, and universities.

2021-22 was a year that stacks up as one of the very best in the award’s history. Each sport had an incredibly deep and well-rounded list of student-athletes, for a multitude of reasons, that were extremely deserving of their nomination.

Leadership has always been instrumental in the world of collegiate sport — especially from senior student-athletes. It’s a vital resource for every team that allows them to grow together. In the last two years, however, it’s become more important than ever. With precautions put in place that restrict time allocated for practice, bonding, traveling — and roster turnover unlike any other — those that have remained at their schools are inherently responsible for the success of their programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic that struck two years ago changed the collegiate sport landscape for the foreseeable future, and we are still seeing the effects of it now. Student-athletes that saw their seasons cut short were granted an additional year of eligibility and many have taken advantage of it. The Senior CLASS Award honors student-athletes in 10 sports — and eight of this year’s honorees were fifth-year seniors. 

They returned for another shot at glory and some returned to don the leadership mantle one more time. It was special seeing the mass of senior student-athletes return for one more season, and their universities were all the better for it. These fifth-year seniors took on a unique responsibility not commonly had by their predecessors and ran with it.

Lars Tiffany, head coach of the Virginia men’s lacrosse team, explained why Senior CLASS Award winner Matt Moore returned for a fifth year before the season began.

“(He) returned to Charlottesville for a fifth year, determined to lead this team again both with his emotional guidance and his ferocious attacking style,” said Tiffany. “(He is) demanding more and more of himself as he fulfills his objective of being as complete a player as there is in college lacrosse.”

Moore, who was already a two-time National Champion, returned in part to lead the Cavaliers and display his leadership for the underclassmen one more time. He made good on that, just as the other Senior CLASS Award winners did, and they were rightfully honored for their selfless contributions.

The Senior CLASS Award is extremely proud of not only 2021-22’s winners, but all who were nominated. It was a special journey for all of us — and we can’t wait to start it up again in a few months.