CR: How has it been playing lacrosse at Dartmouth? Is it what you thought it would be like?
WO: For the most part it has been what I expected. It’s been a huge challenge, it’s been lacrosse at a much higher level than even what I witnessed during the recruiting process. There have been aspects that are much different. Once you get to college you spend 9 months of the year training and preparing for the opportunity to play in 14 games during the lacrosse season, whereas in high school I played different sports throughout the year. Playing in college you really do need to love the sport and truly want to invest in the effort. And it’s an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
CR: What are some of the things you did on your own growing up to help you prepare for lacrosse? What are the things you find yourself doing now off the field on your own time?
WO: There are some things I did before college that I still find myself doing. One of the things is heading out with a ball and stick, shooting on goal by myself. Practicing my skills on the wall. Having the stick in your hand, even when you aren’t at practice. When you play at the college level, you have to spend a lot of time working on your own outside of practice. If you’re not putting in that time, it’s not going to work out for you. I also try to focus on the aspects of the game that I might be uncomfortable with, in an effort to improve.
CR: How do you balance academics and athletics at Dartmouth, has it been hard?
WO: Yes, it definitely is a challenge and is something that takes some getting used to. Particularly during my freshman year. I struggled a little at first, with a lot of demands on your time. There’s no real secret, I felt that I just had to put in extra effort just like I find myself doing in lacrosse. Some nights get pretty late, especially if we didn’t get out of practice until 8:30PM and have a lot of homework waiting. Again I think that people are looking for a secret to dealing with it, you just have to be willing to work really hard and put in the extra time.
CR: How was the transition from living in California to living in Hanover, NH?
WO: Yeah, It was really hard for me at first. The weather is much different. Different types of people. I was also used to being the go-to guy in high school. Learning to play as part of a system and team instead was a challenge. Wearing sweatpants every day to practice to keep warm was obviously something different. Not seeing the sun every day for a couple months was different. But once you get used to it, it’s been an unbelievable experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
CR: If you had to do it all over again, would you have looked for a climate more like California?
WO: I don’t think so. Although the climate was a huge change, I think if you are going through the recruiting process and focusing on the climate, you are going to be in a tough spot. There are so many other important things to consider, and I really didn’t factor it into my decision. Much more important to me was the guys on the team and how I would fit in.
CR: You have two young cousins in the ADVNC program right now (Wilson Wiesel ADVNC SF 2020, Tyler Weisel ADVNC SF 2022). What advice would you give them to have success with lacrosse?
WO: I actually talk to those guys a lot about lacrosse. When I’m home, I try to get those guys out shooting on the cage. I always try to remind them though that it’s just a game. It’s important to take it seriously and work hard, but if they aren’t having fun then they probably have lost sight of what’s important.
CR: looking back on your career is there one thing that stands out the most? What is your fondest lacrosse memory?
WO: The thing that I’m most proud of, that’s hard to pin down. I think the thing I’m most proud of is the group of guys that I played & graduated with. Charlie Ford, Matt Emery, Mikey Schlosser, and others. I’m just so proud of the fact that we came out of California and we’re all playing D1 lacrosse, and we’re representing California and our mentors well.