May 17, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Two of Army's three Senior CLASS Award finalists have another honor to add to their growing resumes as senior lacrosse player Brendan Buckley and senior hockey player Cheyne Rocha represented Army on the 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-District ® Men's At-Large Teams on Friday afternoon.
First-team Academic All-District ® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month. Buckley was a first team Academic All-American last year.
Named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season, Buckley closed out his career with Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors and is a candidate for All-America status this spring. Boasting a near-perfect grade-point average, he is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award with the winner scheduled to be announced next week.
Buckley carries a 3.987 cumulative grade-point average and ranks 11th in his class of over 1,000 First Class cadets. He posted a 4.0 GPA in the fall semester and will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during graduation exercises on May 26. An Engineering major, Buckley branched Field Artillery and posted with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany.
A first team All-Patriot League close defenseman for the second year in a row, Buckley has been named to the Dean's List all seven semesters at West Point and has been honored with the Distinguished Cadet Award and Superintendent's Award for Excellence.
A Massapequa, N.Y., native, he serves as a team tri-captain and spent last semester as a Battalion Commander within the Corps of Cadets. In that role, he was in charge of overseeing the overall performance of more than 350 cadets. Buckley has also mentored, monitored and counseled cadets who were struggling academically as his company's academic NCO (non-commissioned officer).
In addition, Buckley spearheaded a cadet mentorship program within his battalion, which led to cadets regularly visiting the West Point Elementary School to read to students, play sports and provide them with young mentors. He has also taken part in free youth lacrosse clinics at West Point for four years and is active in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
A three-year starter and anchor of Army's close defense, Buckley was drafted by the Boston Cannons with the 54th overall pick in the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.
In his final season, he started all 14 games and led the team with 19 caused turnovers. In his role as Armys' top close defenseman, he played lock-down defense against some of the top attackmen in the nation. Included in that group is fellow Senior CLASS Award finalist Peter Baum of Colgate, who Buckley stymied in a 10-4 win at Colgate on Easter Sunday. In his finest performance of the season, the close defenseman held Baum without a point for the first time in 54 games.
An Engineering Management major, Rocha is a three-time Atlantic Hockey Association Academic All-Star and won the 2013 Hockey Senior CLASS Award. He posted the highest GPA among league defensemen as a junior and was named Student-Athlete of the Year. Rocha spearheaded House of Blues, an awareness campaign for prostate cancer, now the preferred charity of Atlantic Hockey. He is active with the Special Olympics and Neighborhood Knights, a team group that provides community service.
A four-year contributor to the team, Rocha played in all but two games this season - the two games he missed were to attend his Rhodes Scholarship interview. The defenseman finished the season with one goal and three assists. Rocha branched Engineers and posted Fort Carson, Colo.
For the entire list of All-District honorees, click here.