MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–Throughout the remainder of the season, we will be highlighting this year's senior class. Today's spotlight is on Dillon Ptacek, who was a new addition to the Gophers this past fall.
Dillon is a Kinesiology major at the U of M. He grew up in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and attended St. Thomas Academy for high school. Dillon was a three-sport athlete for the Cadets, playing hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. He was a two-year captain on the lacrosse team, was voted two-time team best defensive player, and team MVP his senior year. Dillon was also named All-Section his senior year.
After high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison for three years. He continued his lacrosse career in Madison with their MCLA team, and was awarded 2nd Team all-conferenc LSM in 2013 and 2014 in UMLC. Dillon returned to Minnesota and started at the U of M in the Spring of 2016, and joined the Gopher Lacrosse team in the fall of 2016.
When and how did you start playing lacrosse?
I started lacrosse in 6th grade because I was sick of baseball. I told my mom that I wanted to play lacrosse and she said she had never even heard of it. So, she did some research on where I could play and one of the only places with youth lacrosse at the time was Stillwater so that’s where I played.
What is your spirit animal? (Players are given a spirit animal by upperclassmen when they first join the team)
My spirit animal is the screaming hairy armadillo. I guess it’s mostly the emphasis on the screaming part, because I am one of the more vocal players on the team if you will.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I’m hoping to get some experience in the sports performance field and eventually go back to school to pursue a master’s degree in athletic training.
Most memorable moment as a Gopher?
My most memorable moment as a Gopher has to be beating UST this year. We were so hyped after that win. This is my first and unfortunately last year playing as a Gopher, but I know it meant a lot to the guys and the coaches that have been part of this organization for a long time and had never beat them. I’m proud to be part of the best team in Minnesota.
Which of your current or former teammates had the greatest impact on you?
Well this year I was thrown into close defense from my bread and butter LSM position for the first time since I started playing lacrosse. It was a new challenge for me. So, I’d have to say the starting d-core, specifically Luke Bromback and Nick Fix, and our goalie, Matt Jorgensen, have had the biggest impact on me. They helped me out with all our sets and plays, as I had to transition into our systems pretty quickly.
Do you have any superstitions? Pregame rituals?
I was more superstitious in high school, but didn’t really carry any of those habits with me into college. I guess I’d say my stretching during warm ups before the game is somewhat superstitious. But it’s probably more because I’m old and I need it.
What has been your favorite class you have taken at Minnesota?
My favorite class that I’ve taken here at the U is probably either sport and exercise psychology or exercise physiology.
What is one piece of advice you have for incoming freshmen?
Work hard, but enjoy your time in college and on the team. Time flies by. You’ll make some lifelong friends on this team and throughout your college experiences. Come into every experience with an open mind and give it your all.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I know a lot of random sport statistics and information about players and teams across most professional sports. I spent too much time watching ESPN growing up.
Favorite sport other than lacrosse?
It’s a toss-up between hockey and soccer.
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.
I’m a big Lord of the Rings guy. Always catch that marathon on TNT
If you could visit any place in the world what would it be and why?
I would love to go to Monte Carlo in Monaco. It looks so beautiful there. Ideally, I would meet a very wealthy person who will let me go on their yacht