The National Lacrosse League announced today that San Diego Seals forward Austin Staats has been named the league’s 2019 Rookie of the Year.
“It’s an absolute dream come true,” said Staats. “Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamt of being a professional lacrosse player. I’m honored to have won this award for my family, my team and for the fans in San Diego.”
Staats, 21, was the first overall pick in the 2018 NLL Entry Draft. He led all rookies in goals (32) and points (61) and ranked second in assists (29) despite missing the final four games with an ACL injury. Staats showed his worth early, netting five goals and four assists in his NLL debut. In 14 games played, the lefty recorded seven games with five or more points.
Staats was named NLL Rookie of the Week four times and was the only rookie to earn NLL Player of the Week honors (Week 2). Austin’s older brother, Randy, was named the 2016 Rookie of the Year with the Georgia Swarm, making them the first brothers to win the award.
“We’re incredibly proud of this honor that Austin has received,” said general manager and head coach Patrick Merrill. “I’ve been fortunate enough to coach him since he was in junior lacrosse and it’s been fun to watch him develop as a man and a player. On top of being a talented lacrosse player, what sets Austin apart is his competitiveness and his ability to be a good teammate. We’d like to congratulate Austin for being named the NLL Rookie of the Year on behalf of the entire Seals organization.”
The Seals return for their second season in December at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Place your season ticket membership deposit today at SealsLax.com.