Athlete Feature: Chase Dolinko ’21

  • Billy Thompson ’22

The following article summarizes Billy’s conversation with Chase but is not presented in a format where he directly responds to the bold questions. The image was provided by Chase Dolinko ’21

The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down schools, restaurants, business, as well as sports programs. Many teams are attempting to adapt in any way possible in order to produce any sort of high school sports, as well as club season. Chase Dolinko, a current senior at Sacred Heart, is trying to get as much out of his last season as possible in preparation for his future college soccer career.

What are you currently doing in terms of practicing for soccer at this time?

At the moment, club soccer is coming to an end. Chase has been limited to only practice for the last couple months for his club season. Chase and his team are limited to three practices a week and are required to wear masks. However, he has been focusing a lot on individual work in order to make up for what he  is missing out on. This includes lifting weights and practicing shooting on his own time. Chase has been trying to get as much practice as possible given the current situation.

What are your thoughts at the possibility of the coming high school season being cancelled?

Chase is extremely disappointed with the possibility that the upcoming high school soccer season may not occur. It is his last year to represent Sacred Heart on the soccer pitch, and help SHP win an open division championship, which has been a dream of his since freshman year. However, he remains very optimistic that the season will happen and that he can enjoy his last year playing for the Gators.

What led you to choose to play soccer as opposed to other sports?

In addition to soccer, Chase played a variety of sports including lacrosse and basketball. However, he always felt most comfortable with soccer. Growing up, he always played soccer the best and due to his smaller figure, soccer was a great fit. Chase’s natural athleticism as well as agility and speed allowed him to be incredibly successful at soccer. This led Chase to pursue soccer, and he has not regretted the decision. 

Is there a part of the sport that you enjoy the most?

Over the years, Chase has played soccer, there is one aspect that he enjoys above all else: spending time with his teammates. Chase has developed great friendships through soccer and the memories he creates with these teammates are what he enjoys most about the sport. 

Is there anyone that you look up to or idolize? A teammate, professional?

To Chase, his teammates are the people that he looks up to most. Specifically, the other seniors that are also on the SHP Men’s Varsity Soccer Team. Each player pushes Chase to play his best not only in games, but anytime he steps onto the pitch. Their close friendships and similar skill sets/capabilities have allowed them to develop a lot of chemistry that can be seen on and off of the pitch.

What have been some of the hardest experiences you have encountered with soccer?

At the beginning of Chase’s junior year at Sacred Heart, Chase was sidelined for a couple months due to a stress fracture in his back. The injury caused Chase to miss most of his junior season, Forcing him to sit on the bench and watch his team. However, Chase says that he learned a lot from the injury. He learned patience; taking the time to to push through the injury and return at full health, knowing that his time would eventually come.

You are currently committed to Colby College to play soccer, what are your thoughts on the idea of you playing soccer at a college level?

Chase is really excited for the opportunity to play for Colby College. Playing at the collegiate level has been a dream for Chase, he is extremely proud to have accomplished it. However, he knows that it is going to be a big challenge. There is a lot of hard work he will need to do in order to prepare for the college level of play. But Chase could not be happier for the opportunity that has been given to him.

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