Joey Sankey Takes Home 2015 Cascade Rookie of the Year Honors

UNC rookie, Joey Sankey makes his MLL mark in impressive debut season with the Charlotte Hounds

BOSTON – Major League Lacrosse and Cascade Lacrosse have named Charlotte Hounds, attackman Joey Sankey as the 2015 “Cascade Rookie of the Year”, as voted by MLL Head Coaches and General Managers.

“It’s a huge honor. I thought I had a decent season and was fortunate enough to play. We didn’t have a great year as a team, but offensively we started to build chemistry. The coaches and my teammates really allowed me to be aggressive and take a lot of chances so I was really fortunate to be in the situation that I was and play with some great players. They allowed me to dodge a lot and try to create a opportunities,” said Sankey. “It’s the highest level of lacrosse, so it’s really humbling! There’s so many great players like Lyle Thompson, my buddy Jimmy Bitter and Kevin Rice, who all had an incredible year. There’s a lot of great rookies so I’m really appreciative that I got it.”

The 2015 MLL rookie class was chock-full of talent and plenty of offensive fire power. Joey Sankey was among those year one players who wasted no time in bursting on the scene and providing an instant spark.

Acquired from the University of North Carolina by the Charlotte Hounds with the 9th overall pick in the 2015 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, Sankey entered the league in Week 7 more than ready to make an immediate impact. In his first game with the Hounds, he earned the “Cascade Rookie of the Week” honors after posting an eight-point debut, netting 5 goals. Sankey’s early impact earned him a late All-Star selection and appearance in Houston.

In Week 10, Sankey was back a top his rookie class with his second Rookie of the Week title, when Sankey racked up two goals and two assists in the Charlotte Hounds upset victory over the then undefeated New York Lizards.

“Whether it’s a defenseman or middie, everyone just has such good stick skills, everyone is so fast, the shots are so much faster,” said Sankey. “Everything is just ramped up so much and it’s slightly overwhelming the first game to realize how fast-paced it is.”

Playing in 9 regular season games, Sankey has proven to be the silver lining on a struggling Charlotte Hounds team. In his MLL debut game, Sankey scored 5 goals and added 3 assist. The talented rookie went on to score in every one of his regular season games played finishing with 22 goals and 11 assist, for a remarkable 34 points.

Finishing just behind Sankey in the voting process was Florida Launch number one draft pick, Lyle Thompson with 54 points. Followed closely behind Thompson was Ohio Machine rookie and fellow UNC graduate, Jimmy Bitter.

2015 Cascade Rookie of the Year Voting Results

The Cascade Rookie of the Year is determined based on the total number of points each rookie receives from a voting panel of MLL Head Coaches and General Managers. Every vote is assigned a point total:

First place = 5 points
Second place = 3 points
Third place = 1 point

Name Team 1ST Place Votes 2ND Place Votes 3RD Place Votes Total Points
Joey Sankey Charlotte Hounds 7 9 0 62
Lyle Thompson Florida Launch 8 4 3 54
Jimmy Bitter Ohio  Machine 1 3 7 21
Kevin Rice Rochester Rattlers 0 0 4 4
Connor Buczek Florida Launch 0 0 2 2
Ryan Walsh NY Lizards 0 0 1 1