Editor’s note: We’re back with another installment of our Wolf of the MCLA series! Thanks to the support of Wolf Athletics, we’re selecting, interviewing, and honoring impressive student-athletes who are competing in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association throughout the 2015 college lacrosse season. Each new member of the “Wolf Pack” will receive a Ghost shaft as an award for his accomplishments. We hope you enjoy![mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
In his first three years of MCLA action, St. John’s midfielder Ben Marynec has racked up some serious honors, on and off of the field.
His first two seasons were spent at Arizona State, where he earned SLC Freshman of the Year honors before returning home to Minnesota to finish his final two seasons with the Johnnies.
In his first season back in the homeland, Ben worked his way to 2nd Team All-America Midfield, MCLA All-Tournament Midfield, MCLA Scholar Athlete, UMLC 1st Team All-Conference Midfield honors while maintaining his positions in various academic groups around campus.
So far in 2015, Ben is leading his team with an average of 4 points per game, collecting 28 total in just 7 outings.
Known for being a terror on the field and an exemplary individual at St. John’s, Ben Martynec was a no-brainer as the most recent addition to The Pack and our newest Wolf of the MCLA![mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
Ben Martynec – Wolf of the MCLA
Full Name: Ben Martynec
Key Stats: 2014 MCLA 2nd Team All-America Midfield, 2014 MCLA All-Tournament Midfield, 2014 MCLA Scholar Athlete, 2014 UMLC 1st Team All-Conference Midfield
College: St. John’s (MCLA Division II)
High School: Hill Murray High School (MN)
When you aren’t playing lacrosse, what are your hobbies off of the field?
I am pretty involved with student organizations on campus ranging from Enactus, a business organization dealing with a variety of entrepreneurial projects, and Society for The Advancement of Management, a case study competition advancing students knowledge of management skills.
In addition, I’ve been getting more into yoga. It’s amazing to see how doing yoga off the field benefits me on the field.
Do you play any other sports?
In high school I played football, basketball, and lacrosse. I got recruited to play football here at SJU but I decided to focus my efforts on lacrosse and academics.
Favorite shoes in your collection?
That’s a tough one… For lacrosse I’m a huge fan of the Under Armour Highlight cleats; they have great support and are lightweight.
Off the field I can’t seem to get away from buying Vans time and time again. Going to ASU for two years opened my eyes to Vans and I never looked back. Little harder to wear them year round in Minnesota though haha
What’s your idea of a perfect meal?
I am a huge pasta guy. Basically, if I have a meal dealing with pasta and some form of meat, I’d call that a perfect meal. I am pretty easy to please.
What’s your main source of transportation?
In Arizona, it was always the long board. Here in MN, it would be mostly walking using some durable winter boots.
What is your pre-game ritual (if any)?
One thing that I need to do before every game is re-tape my stick. It gives me time to get my nerves under control and forget about the game for a couple minutes.
Also, there is nothing like a fresh tape job with great grip right before a big game.
What is one thing you wish the world would understand about lacrosse?
How much fun it is to play. Growing up I have pretty much played every kind of sport and nothing compares to the exhilaration and excitement lacrosse gives.
I think the growth of the sport says it all. All across the country the sport is picking up and we are seeing great players come from unlikely places. I think that once people start to understand how much fun it is and the ample opportunities the sport brings, it’s only going to get bigger.
Do you consider yourself a lone wolf, leader of the pack, or committed teammate?
First and foremost I consider myself a committed teammate. In my eyes it’s all about the team and how well each individual works together. This is all about knowing your roll and how you as an individual fits into the team’s structure.
Personally, I think my role changes from year to year and it’s all about making each team the most successful one yet.
How many years have you been playing lacrosse and where did you find your start?
This will be my 12th year playing lacrosse. I was on my city’s (Woodbury, MN) first ever youth lacrosse team in 5th grade, where I started as a goalie.
It wasn’t until I scored my first goal that I realized midfield was the position for me.
What made you choose to go to play lacrosse at St. John’s?
Transferring from ASU came with a lot of decisions and one of them was where I wanted to continue my lacrosse career.
It came down to St. Thomas or St. John’s, both powerhouses in the UMLC as well as the MCLA. I chose St. John’s for the their academic reputation as well as the fact that we have never won a National Championship.
It might sound a little backwards but I wanted to come to a team and make a difference in order to bring home our first National title.
You racked up some serious honors in 2014, what are the goals you’ve set for yourself and for your team in 2015?
My goals have been the same since leaving high school: continually improve myself on and off the field.
Each year brings the opportunity to improve on those things that I lacked the year before. Being my final year I’m going to give everything I can and leave it all on the field. I never start a season talking about the things I might personally accomplish because it’s easy to lose sight of the overall team goal.
Our team is constantly looking to build off of previous years’ successes and this year is no different. It is through the hard work of SJU players past and present that give us the opportunity to build on the goal of being the last one standing come May.
As one of the backbones of the Johnnies squad, how do you plan to help lead the team in 2015?
As mentioned before, I plan on doing my role. As of right now my roll is to be a leader and example for younger players.
It is all about giving those players a chance to learn from one another and building that team chemistry. It’s easy to say we need to be a team but it’s hard to actually become one; it is my roll and the roll of all the seniors to make it happen.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
Congratulations to Ben, and a special thanks to Coach Daehn and the St. John’s Johnnies for nominating him as our latest Wolf of the MCLA!