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A Sport For (Almost) Every Season

A Sport For (Almost) Every SeasonSophomore soccer and hockey standout Greg O’Connell is making the most of his time at Tufts.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.17.06] For Tufts sophomore Greg O’Connell, there’s a brief window of opportunity – right around now – when he can take some time for himself. But soon, it’ll be back to the grind of preparing for another sports season, fresh off the heels of the one he just finished. Such is the life of the two-sport star who gives new meaning to making the most of the college experience.

''I'll take two weeks off and then get back to work getting ready for next soccer season," O'Connell, who also plays hockey for the Jumbos, told The Boston Globe.

The 6-foot, 190 lb. native of Cohasset, Mass., is a forward on the Tufts hockey team and also a midfielder on the soccer team, which he will captain next year.

Making the switch from one sport to another isn’t as easy as people expect, O’Connell admitted to the Globe.

''It is a difficult transition from soccer to hockey," he told the newspaper. ''Everybody thinks you would be in great shape for hockey season because you're running up and down the soccer field. But hockey is different. You use different muscles. It takes a while to get in the groove. This year my coach gave me three days off before hockey practice. That helped."

Despite the inevitable wear and tear of playing two college-level sports, O’Connell told the newspaper that he wouldn’t have it any other way.

''I enjoy the structure it gives my life. . . . I did it [in high school] and it's why I chose Tufts,” O’Connell explained to the Globe. “I was recruited by some Division 1 hockey programs. But I have no illusions. I'm not going to be a professional hockey player. I wanted to play both sports in college and at Tufts I have that opportunity."

O’Connell’s father, Mike, a former professional hockey star who is now the general manager of the Boston Bruins, strongly encouraged his son to consider more than just hockey when choosing a college.

''My father told me to enjoy the college experience,” O’Connell told the newspaper. “He told me to take everything in and enjoy it while it lasts. He didn't. He went from high school to junior hockey to the pros. He never had the opportunity."

And the younger O’Connell, who is grateful for the chance his father never got, has found the key to balancing the various aspects of college life, most notably academics and his athletic commitments at Tufts.

''It's time management,” he told the Globe. “You have to use your time wisely and get things done when they are supposed to get done. You can't put things off."

 

 

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