By Joe Hanretty
The athletic program is an important part of the University of Dallas. But, at such an academically-minded college as this, it is even more important to excel in the classroom. So, the general thought process of students on campus can go something like this:
“Well, I played sports in high school and did okay, but I was not recruited to play at UD. I guess I could just become involved with some intramural sports.”
However, some students have defied this assumption and have written a different narrative for themselves. This spring, seniors Zack Wellwerts and Charles Shaughnessy both decided to play for the UD’s men’s lacrosse team. Neither had played a varsity collegiate sport until this semester.
Both were willing to voice their thoughts on the decision to pursue a short-lived collegiate career as an athlete. Wellwerts spoke simply about his own mindset.
“Boredom,” he said. “[I] wanted to do something athletic. I’d never tried ‘lax’ before and wouldn’t really get the chance after school. It was the only sport really running in the spring, and I like the people [involved].”
I assumed that the senior was bored because he had more time on his hands in his last semester at UD, but he disproved this theory.
“No, actually, I have no time,” Wellwerts commented. “I’ve got two jobs and a full course load, but I needed an athletic outlet.”
For some individuals, it can be difficult to actually enjoy a new sport and what it has to offer because it is foreign. Wellwerts certainly struggled with tackling the challenges of being new to lacrosse.
“I definitely wish I had joined earlier,” he said. “Starting a new sport, and realizing how much fun you could have had with it if you had only started a year or two sooner is the worst.”
Shaughnessy said he too enjoyed the fun of the sport.
“[I] chose to join because I enjoy competition. I played three sports back in high school but I’ve never had enough time to play here at UD until this year,” he said. “I picked lacrosse because I wanted to play a contact sport that would be a challenge to learn how to play. Also, lacrosse has helmets which I am a big fan of. It’s been a lot of fun, but there is no way that I could have survived my schoolwork if I had joined earlier.”
When pressed for more details about the team as a whole, Wellwerts cited the coaches and the team culture as a few of the best parts of the experience.
“Both coaches are great,” he said. “You know how a sports team is like a big family? The lax team is definitely that, except the coaches are more like crazy older brothers than dads. The team is going to kick ass next year. We’ve got an awesome recruiting class coming in. I’m pretty mad I won’t be there to play with them. I’ll be watching all the home games, but not playing will be difficult for me.”