LMP Student Nominated for U of T Athletic Award

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Mitch de Snoo
Mitch de Snoo in a Varsity Blues game with Western University

Mitch de Snoo, a master's student in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, was nominated for U of T's Frank Pindar Male Athlete of the Year award last week. de Snoo led the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) league with 35 goals in 11 games.

"It's a pretty nice honour and one I wasn't expecting," said de Snoo. "We didn't win many games this year, but we had a good group of young guys and we improved a lot over the season."

The Blues finished last in the West division but won two of their final three games. They ended the season with a win over Laurier, and de Snoo had a season-high five goals and one assist in the finale.  

This was de Snoo's first season with the Blues after five years in Philadelphia at Drexel University, which he attended on an NCAA Division I lacrosse scholarship.

"When you have players from Division I schools in the U.S., where athletics have a very high profile, you wonder how well they will fit in here," said Joe Nizich, head coach of the Blues lacrosse team. "But Mitch got along well with everyone. And he's a tremendous player — skilled, fast, strong and intelligent."

As a student in the lab of Professor Suneil Kalia, based in Toronto Western Hospital at University Health Network, de Snoo studies mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in Parkinson's disease. These days, de Snoo is in the lab Monday to Thursday before heading to Buffalo, where he plays professional lacrosse for the Buffalo Bandits on weekends.

de Snoo said his frequent trips to Buffalo mean he's not in the lab as much as some other students on weekends, but that Kalia has been very accommodating. "I've been lucky to be able to play pro this year. Not all PIs would be so supportive," he said.

The Bandits lead the National Lacrosse League's East division with about a month left in the schedule. After the playoffs, de Snoo will spend a little more time in the lab and train for the next Blues season.

de Snoo hopes to keep playing varsity and professional lacrosse as long as he is a student — which could be several years. He plans to pursue science in a doctoral program, or maybe in medical school. "There's a guy with the Calgary Roughnecks who played pro throughout medical school. So there are ways to do it," said de Snoo.

If the last year is an indication, de Snoo will find a way. — Jim Oldfield