In May, Loyola Maryland's Joe Fletcher received the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation's top defender. Now he has the hardware to show he brought that same intensity and dedication to the classroom, too.
Fletcher was named the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award voted on by conference member schools that honors the top performer in the classroom and in competition. Scholar-Athletes of the Year in their respective sports are eligible for the overall honor.
Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston's profile of Fletcher this season illustrated his passion for academics:
"Fletcher admits he is a nerd who could have gone to Penn, Cornell or Drexel. Instead, he wanted a small Jesuit school and settled on Loyola. He is an accounting major and likes to read Harry Potter novels as much as crunching numbers. If he isn't playing lacrosse or reading, Fletcher is somewhere playing basketball, because he still thinks he is a power forward."
In a piece for syracuse.com, Patrick Stevens called Fletcher a "model of efficiency ... who finds something to do with any free moment."
"It never stops with him," said defenseman Pat Frazier, who sits next to Fletcher on the team bus on road trips. "I feel bad when he pulls out accounting homework and I'm just playing video games on my computer. I'm like, 'Are you really going to do that? All right, I'll find something to do.'"
Fletcher was twice named a first-team All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He also earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors this season and was the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In 2012, he helped lead Loyola to its first Division I national championship in any sport.
"Joe is the definition of a true student-athlete, and we are so proud of him for this honor and the many other he has received throughout his distinguished career," Jim Paquette, Loyola's assistant vice president and athletic director, said in a news release. "Joe was a leader in every facet of his life at Loyola –- in the classroom, locker room, community and on the field -– and he will be the same in the business world as he starts his career."