It’s been awhile since we had a Fireside Chat, and with the 2010 season right around the corner I thought I’d try to sneak a couple more good conversations in. Today’s chat is pretty legit in my book because it’s not every day you run into a stud lacrosse player who devotes his off-the-field time to helping his fellow peers get the most out of their college experience.
Meet Conrad Clevlen – Cool name. Lots o’ flow. Captain of the NDNU men’s lacrosse team. Oh, and did I mention he’s the Student Body president? I spoke with Conrad about his role, time management, the lacrosse team’s new head coach and their outlook for the season. Below is our conversation.
You’re the student body president at NDNU, right? What all does that position entail?
Conrad Clevlen: Indeed I am. As Student Body president I am a liaison between the students and the faculty and staff. We have our weekly senate meetings where we discuss various issues on campus. The position really requires me to be a representative for the students in committees and at events.
I read that you were elected while on a lacrosse road trip. How’d that work out?
Conrad Clevlen: Well the evening before I left on the road trip, I rallied the friends together and we had solid night of campaigning. I made a commitment to run a paper-free campaign so the majority of the evening was spent drawing up sidewalk campaign slogans and thinking up creative visuals to imprint on the sidewalk. When we were on the road trip I stayed in contact with a few buddies back on campus and they helped out quite a bit. We made sure that everyone voted online while we were in New York to seal the deal.
Is it tough to juggle lacrosse and your involvement in student government? What do you do to keep it all straight?
Conrad Clevlen: While doing both has its tough moments, the fact is that I find both experiences to be very enjoyable and unique. They both challenge me in different ways and to be honest; having that challenge is an aspect that I find rather refreshing. But, when things seem a little daunting, taking some “Conrad time” and refocusing my mind on the positive helps me stay grounded.
How would you describe campus life at NDNU? What are the students like?
Conrad Clevlen: Campus life on NDNU is diverse and everyone knows everyone. The University does a great job of admitting a diverse group of students at this school and this quality is ever-so prevalent in campus life. We have an eclectic variety of student clubs and organizations from our pre-law fraternity to the Hawaiian club. Also, because this is a smaller university you get to know the familiar faces around campus and for the most part, everyone is at least familiar with everyone. It makes for a pretty neat community.
Who are some of your teammates we should watch out for this year?
Conrad Clevlen: Oh man, without question Drew Comeau (we call him Combz-Daddy). Drew is one of those players that will make a play and afterwards your left a little awestruck. He’s an exceptional athlete, the hardest worker on our team, and a great leader. Next, we have Ryan Clark (“Clarky”). He brings experience to the D and is the centerpiece of our defense. Greg Bearson, watch out for this guy also. I think I recall seeing him tired once…maybe twice in our time together- that’s it. Truly he’s such an asset to our offense. Greg is also the president of our school’s Going Green Club and epitomizes good character.
Stephen Dini saw quite a bit of success with Cal. What’s it like having him as your new head coach?
Conrad Clevlen: Coach Dini hit the ground running when he got here. Within days he had two quality assistant coaches. We got our player packs faster than we’ve ever experienced before. Essentially, the guy’s on top of his game and expects the same out of us. He also brings an element of discipline to the team and expects us all to be class acts off the field. We’re in good hands with Coach Dini.
What team are you looking forward to playing the most this year? Why?
Conrad Clevlen: The game against Mercyhurst is the game I’ve got my sights on this year. As long as I’ve been at NDNU, we’ve came up short somewhere in our game against them. Whether its faceoffs, possession time, or turnovers, something has stood in the way of us beating them. Not to mention, they’re always a great team. I’m looking forward to this game because I think it will be our most challenging game and that’s something to get excited about.
Describe your pregame – what do you do to get ready for a big game?
Conrad Clevlen: For me, the most important thing to do before a game is to make sure I am at peace and content with myself. This is important for me because my best games occur when I play with a confident, secure, and happy state of mind. This simply puts me in the position to perform at my best and helps me stay positive in adverse circumstances that are sure to arise in any sporting event. What I do is I rehash in my mind things which I am thankful for and also focus some time on a little self-appreciation. This works really well for me; exercising feelings of gratitude and self-appreciation before a big game because it keeps my nerves at bay and helps me build momentum.
What are your personal goals for 2010? What are the team goals for 2010?
Conrad Clevlen: Personally, I would like to perform at a level that would help get NDNU to the championship tournament. In order to do this, our team has to perform well on our trips back east this spring. Team-wise, we would love to win out on our road trips to PA, NC, and FL. It would be magnificent if I could look back on this season and feel as though our team had a positive impact on the growth of NCAA lacrosse in the West. There’s not very much representation for West coast lacrosse in the NCAA and we would like to finally leave our mark on the sport.
If you had to predict the NCAA title winners right now, who would they be?
Conrad Clevlen: Haha, good question – It would be a shot in the dark. I do know I’m pulling for NDNU; we’ll see how things fan out.
What are your post-college aspirations?
Conrad Clevlen: Here’s the plan: I’m taking the LSAT in July or August. I would like to apply to Law School the fall following graduation. I’m not sold on where I would want to go yet, so I’m going to wait to see how I do on the LSAT before making those decisions. By then I’ll have a better idea. Ideally, I would have time to go to South America for a few months to brush up on my Spanish before I start school again. That could mean deferring for a year or maybe even postponing my application for another year. We’ll see how things go. I’ve indeed been bit by the travel bug and would like to satisfy these urges a bit more before jumping back in to school. South America’s my place for that.
What are your top 5 favorite songs right now?
Conrad Clevlen: Great Question!!! Conrad’s Current Top Five Favorite Songs…
Quite a good selection if I do say so myself, haha.
This has been another Lax All Stars Fireside Chat. Stay tuned to the LAS Network for more interviews, and see our full list here.