During his senior year as a politics major at the University of Dallas, Dan McCorey has maintained his devotion to lacrosse. The sport has helped form him personally and socially, and McCorey does his best to give back to that sport with his enthusiasm and devotion to his team.
Starting in his sophomore year of high school, McCorey has been playing defensive and midfielder positions for the majority of his sports career. With a background in football and wrestling, McCorey had some experience under his belt, but when his sports friends played lacrosse in their spring seasons, McCorey joined them and found that he had a natural talent for the sport.
McCorey had little interest in attending UD before he visited, but once he did, he realized that he truly liked the school, especially when the lacrosse coach encouraged him to play.
McCorey reported that his love for lacrosse comes from its versatility.
“You’ll never have two games that are the same,” McCorey explained. “I’ve had games that were 2 inches of rain where it’s basically a slugfest and I’ve had games where people don’t really touch each other and it’s more like a game of soccer or basketball where it’s all skill and a chess match.”
McCorey’s involvement in lacrosse has also aided his personal development. Although McCorey considers himself to be naturally quieter and more introverted, lacrosse has helped pull him out of his shell.
“Lacrosse made me a lot less shy and a better communicator,” McCrorey said. “It’s made me a more gregarious and [a] more outgoing person.”
Especially as a defensive player, McCorey must communicate quickly and clearly to be an effective player.
“When you’re playing lax, things happen in 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds, and plays will go from nothing happening at all to the ball in the back of the net in 4, 5 seconds,” McCrorey explained. “You have to communicate quickly and clearly to your teammates.”
During McCorey’s development over the course of these four years, the team has grown along with him. When asked about the lacrosse team environment, McCorey explained,
“It’s a very cohesive unit. When I was a freshman it wasn’t really like that, but now the team culture is very close and well bonded… We definitely spend most of our free time together.”
The teammates bond by spending a lot of time together, especially on the weekends; it helps that most of them live together as well.
As a senior, McCorey assumes a leadership role on the team.
“I just try to help the new guys and the younger guys get better at things, learn to read the field better, learn to throw and catch better.”
McCorey has the potential to become this year’s team captain, but he isn’t too concerned about actually receiving the title.
“[It’s] not as big of an idea as people make it out to be… Having one person as the team captain is not as important as having everybody be a part of the team.” McCorey said, then compared his ideal team to something like a corporation. “High operating organizations don’t revolve around one person.”
McCorey commended his coach, Keith Loftis, as one of the best he has had.
“He’s very good at coming up with creative solutions to things. He’s probably the most creative 40-year-old man that I’ve ever met,” McCrorey said, praising Loftis. “He has quite brilliant game plans especially when we play against teams that are ostensibly better than us and he’s really good at that.”
Coming from a small school with a small team, the UD lacrosse team sometimes has to face teams more formidable than themselves. McCorey said that Loftis prepares the team to face each specific opponent, taking his time to study how the opposing team usually plays. Loftis’ investment in his team is inspirational.
With the coronavirus pandemic still a concern, McCorey may be seeing some lacrosse adjustments during his senior year. Since lacrosse has a spring season, McCorey hasn’t seen its effects yet.
Numerous colleges and universities have shut their sports programs down entirely, and the teams that are still playing are rather limited in their travel. Most teams are not willing to travel out of state, so it has been difficult to find other teams to play.
Some might view COVID-19’s hindrance as greatly upsetting, especially during senior year, but McCorey has a different perspective.
“If I don’t get to have a lax season my senior year, that’s not something I can control. Of course, I’ll be sad and a little upset, but I’m not going to blame the government or God or something,” McCrorey said. “It’s not like I went out and personally failed so it’s not going to bother me that much.”
McCorey knows that he can only control what he does and how he reacts to other people and external circumstances. This trait will be a benefit to him as he pursues a career in the military post-graduation. McCorey’s healthy attitude towards his final season of lacrosse, whatever form that takes, displays his aptitude, both as a team player and an individual.