Athlete Spotlight: Justin Tkachuk

Image Courtesy of T.J. Hummel

Image Courtesy of T.J. Hummel

T.J. Hummel, Sports Editor

Here at the University of Hartford, campus life has been a little bit different without having our fellow Hawks on the field, playing their respected sports. I was able to catch up with senior midfielder Justin Tkachuk, also known as Chuck, to hear about his perspective on campus life without lacrosse.

When asked about the adjustment in campus life, Justin was more than happy to talk about it. “It’s definitely a big adjustment compared to what I am used to in my previous three years here at the University,” he replied. For him, he has a lot of free time on his hands, due to the fact that the team cannot practice fully on the field together. He and his fellow teammates find some time to shoot around, do some footwork drills, and get some sessions in at the team gym, all while socially distancing and wearing their masks of course! The goal for him, as well as his teammates, is to stay active as much as possible during this time.

One of his goals is to stay as active as possible. “We can’t let ourselves go. We have to be ready for when we get the ok to practice as a team,” Chuck replied. The boys got some news this week that got them pretty excited. The team is aiming to practice together for the first time this coming Monday. With no news on spring sports yet, Chuck cannot wait to hit the field with his entire team. It’s something that could bring a sense of normality to him as well as the other players, coaches, and staff of the men’s lacrosse team.

Other than doing some small group shoot-arounds, Chuck and company try to get outside on campus as much as possible. Some of the activities include washer toss, tossing a football, frisbee, etc. They want to stay in top shape, and rightfully so. He says, “I don’t want to sit at my desk and play video games like everyone else.”

Whether it be spike ball, frisbee, or washer toss, Chuck is staying fit and having fun. With this year being sort of a question mark, I had asked Chuck if this year sort of puts a damper on his lacrosse career and what it means going forward. “I would love to play professionally. I don’t think I would take the field lacrosse route. If i wanted to play professionally, I would try to play in the NLL; for that, my draft year would be next year because I’m still in the NCAA.” Speaking of the NLL, the Draft is on tonight and Chuck shouted out a few of his Ottawa boys: Curtis Conley, Ty Thompson, and Sam Firth. “Best of luck to those guys, I don’t see this season making an impact on my draft stock.”

We look forward to hopefully seeing Chuck and his fellow teammates take the field and represent the University this spring! With COVID-19 still making its mark, it is tough to tell what the spring semester is going to look like but, for Chuck, the hopes are running sky high, ready to go when they get the call.