Photo: Delaware Technical Community College
Delaware Technical Community College student-athletes interviews are back! Every Thursday, Delaware Sports Blitz will feature interviews with the student-athletes from the Community College.
Our last Delaware Tech spring feature comes from men’s lacrosse midfielder Matt Kracyla.
Kracyla talks about everything from the best part of playing the midfielder position and how he overcame the challenges that the pandemic brought.
Check out it below!
How did you start playing sports?
“I started playing sports when I was as little as five years old. My parents got me into soccer and T-ball, then I later transitioned into football and lacrosse. Sports have always played a major role in my life.”
What adjustments did you have to make from the jump of high school to college, regarding the sport you play?
“A major difference between playing in high school and playing in college would definitely be things like the speed and intensity of the game. Also, how demanding playing a collegiate sport really is. It also was a huge challenge trying to balance between academics and a sport.”
How do you keep yourself in game shape in the offseason for your sport?
“In the off-season, I aim to go to the gym around five days a week while still incorporating stickwork and conditioning.”
What is the best part of playing your particular position?
“I would say the best part about playing midfield is that it is such a versatile position. I can push the ball in transition to create scoring opportunities, but at the same time, I am expected to play defense on the opposing side of the field. Midfielders definitely have to have endurance while also being quick on their feet.”
What has a former or current coach taught you, that you still use today on or off the playing field?
“My high school coach and summer league coach Dave Fulton has taught me so much when it comes to lacrosse. I learned a lot from him on the field, and I learned even more off of the field. He always put a major emphasis on things like accountability, discipline, responsibility, and commitment. Not only did he make us better lacrosse players, but he strived to make us better husbands, friends, sons, and employees. I appreciate everything he has ever done for me.”
What is a typical day for you when the season is in full force?
“A typical day in the season starts with schoolwork/classes. Then I like to decompress and stretch prior to a practice/game. Following practice/game, I eat, shower, and study before going to bed.”
What do you feel is your greatest strength?
“Lacrosse is arguably the fastest sport on two feet. I feel that my greatest strength on the field is my speed. My speed allows me to escape defenders, allow for a fast transition from defense to offense, and match feet while defending my opponent.”
What do you feel you are weakest at and how do you work on to improve it?
“I think my biggest weakness in lacrosse is my off-hand. Every lacrosse player has a dominant hand that they prefer to hold their stick in. Being able to utilize both hands creates a huge advantage when dodging, shooting, passing, etc. I am able to use both, but I feel like my off-hand is not nearly as strong. To get better, I have been using my non-dominant while playing wall ball and shooting.”
Describe some of the highlights of your athletic career.
“Most recently, I was selected for NJCAA Region 19 All-Region honors for midfield. I was an All-Conference player in high school and achieved Honorable Mention All-State in my senior year. Also, I was captain of my high school team junior/senior year and a captain this year at Delaware Tech.”
What is the best part of playing on a team?
“The best part about playing on a team is all working toward the same objective together. As a team, you all have to work together to overcome adversity. Also, not to mention the friends you make that last a lifetime.”
How do you stay motivated during the highs and lows of a season?
“Every season will have its ups and downs. To get through, it is crucial to remain level-headed. It is important to not get too down after a loss or too overconfident after a win. Every game, we have to go out and play 100% while executing what we have learned in practice.”
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge that I (and many others) faced was dealing with the pandemic. I was unable to have a freshman season at Delaware Tech and missed out on the fall ball as well. During that time, I continued going to the gym, hitting the wall, and stayed motivated through it all. I am extremely grateful that we were able to compete this season.”
In what ways, does playing a sport, help you with your studies?
“Being a nursing major definitely requires more studying than most majors. Playing a sport gives me time to really focus on something I enjoy doing while also breaking up the monotony of studying.”
How would you like to be remembered by your teammates and coaches?
“I would like to be remembered by teammates and coaches as a hardworking player that was always a great teammate and puts the team first.”
Why did you choose to play at Delaware Tech?
“I chose to play at Delaware Tech because of its established nursing program along with the affordable cost. It was also a great opportunity to be a part of a growing lacrosse program with new coaches and new players.”
What was your experience like throughout 2020 and what does it mean for you to play competitive sports again?
“When I first came to Delaware Tech in 2020, we didn’t have enough players to even participate in a regular season. Not having a season was inevitable, considering our situation and COVID. Being able to finally play again was incredibly rewarding and exciting.”