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Zack Dorn Lacrosse Chicago Outlaws credit: McAll-Star Kids

Mr. 116: Zack Dorn’s Uncharted Path to Lacrosse Stardom

Mark Donahue uncovers the lacrosse background of Zack Dorn, the “fan” who broke the world record for fastest shot at the 2014 MLL All-Star Game.

Remember that “Average Joe,” or “Super Fan,” who broke the world record for the fastest lacrosse shot at the 2014 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game? His is name is Zack Dorn, but here at LAS, we like to refer to him as Mr. 116.

Zack Dorn, Chicago Outlaws
Dorn in action for the Chicago Outlaws

A forward for the Chicago Outlaws of the Continental Indoor Lacrosse League, Zack (not “Zak,” the way it was spelt by many during the All-Star game aftermath) Dorn recently became the first non-professional player to earn an endorsement deal with a lacrosse manufacturer when he signed with Epoch Lacrosse last month.

Lacrosse fans need not be too surprised, however, because Zack Dorn has actually been hard at work building his own fan base for years.

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While most of the media coverage of Dorn breaking the world’s fastest shot record has depicted him as a “fan” up to this time, he’d actually already become quite well-known amongst American box lacrosse enthusiasts previous to shooting 116mph at the 2014 MLL All-Star Game.

Dorn has been tearing it up with the Chicago Outlaws over the past four seasons, and most recently, he helped lead the Outlaws to a 2014 CILL Championship! In addition to competing in the CILL, the Chicago native has committed the majority of his time to servicing the local lacrosse community as one of The Lax Shop‘s most popular employees.

Sure, Zack is a Major League Lacrosse fan, but aren’t we all? Truthfully, his background as a competitive player in our sport helps tell the full story of how he became Mr. 116.

Knowing this information, I decided to reach out to Zack to get the real scoop and provide LaxAllStars.com readers with the chance to get to know the Guinness World Recorder holder first-hand. What follows is my conversation with the up-and-coming American box lacrosse star.

Get to know Zack Dorn, Mr. 116

LAS: Zack, let’s start with the question all the kids are asking… Which lacrosse head, pocket, and shaft did you use to snap Mike Sawyer’s world record?

ZD: I used the Warrior Evo Pro X6 with Epoch’s Otter Mesh tied up with StringKing sidewalls and shooters. I use 2 straight shooters and one nylon. The pocket itself is a bag, so when I shoot the ball stays right up against the shooters, and when cradling vertically, the ball settles into the throat of the head.

Zack Dorn's lacrosse stick
The record breaker

My pockets have to be able to “float,” this is where I can get the quick release of a high pocket and the hold when cradling one hand. I live by the motto, “Never use U’s as far as shooters go, they just cause problems!”

My go-to shaft is an Epoch Dragonfly Gen. 5 C30 and the flex is a 5. I love the carbon fiber shafts they come out with, I can’t stand denting or bending a metal shaft which happens a lot playing box. I [recently] made the switch to carbon fiber and I’ve been loving it.

Where did you first pickup lacrosse and how long ago?

Zack Dorn as a high school lacrosse player
Dorn in his first lacrosse game

I started playing lacrosse during my freshman year of high school back in 2005 in Cary, Illinois.

I played high school ball at a small school in Illinois called Cary-Grove High School, and then I went to a local community college, McHenry County College. They didn’t have lacrosse there, so I searched for jobs in the lacrosse field and starting helping out Lacrosse America, working their winter leagues.

A short time later, the Outlaws came about. My high school coach started them and needed guys, so I tried out for defense, eventually making the team and playing defense the first two years. The move to offense came after I got the job at The Lax Shop and was able to constantly have a stick in my hands and really fine tune my stringing.

I feel like there’s a lot of “experiences” that I am leaving out, but that’s the basis!

Where are you playing now, and what do expect for the future?

Zak Dorn, Chicago Outlaws
Dorn in action for the Outlaws

I just finished my fourth season of playing righty forward with the 2014 CILL Champion, Chicago Outlaws.

I would honestly love to play at a higher level, and if that chance comes about from this, I will be trying my best for that too.

So, if you’re not a pro lacrosse player, what do you do out of the box?

I’m the manager at The Lax Shop in Bannockburn. We also have another location in Lakeview! Check us out if you’re ever in the Midwest!

How did Epoch Lacrosse end up sponsoring the kid from Chicago who is now labeled as having the World’s Fastest Shot?

I knew that I could shoot hard and saw the ad for the Rabil shot challenge. I said to myself, “this is my chance to show people what I can do!”

Zak Dorn, Mr. 116
Chicago made up a special jersey to congratulate Mr. 116

I put the gears in motion and got in contact with a few people that knew about the challenge. Epoch ended up coming back to me saying they were more than interested in helping me achieve my goal.

The Epoch crew is a bunch of great guys, and it was an immediate match. Ryan Hurley and I were talking before all of this about how we could just get it in Guinness, but then the challenge magically popped up and the rest was history.

A special thanks goes out to Zack for taking the time to speak with me. Follow Zack on Instagram to keep up with the intriguing life of Mr. 116!

Photo Credit: McAll-Star Kids Photography

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For another look at Dorn’s path from Chi-town lacrosse store manager to becoming an icon in the lacrosse realm, check out The Shot below.

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