From the golf course to the ice rink to the classroom, Jack Junge's success is realized because of a commitment to excellence. Voted to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Sportsmanship team as a sophomore, Junge has impressed his teammates from the start. Trinity senior Anthony Sabitsky, co-captain of the men's hockey team said, "He's the ultimate team guy, works hard, great player, and would do anything to help the team win." As a two-sport athlete, Junge has also impressed his coach. Trinity Golf and Men's Ice Hockey Head Coach, Matt Greason said Junge "has one of the best attitudes I've ever coached at any level, at any age, and at any sport. If he has a tough hole or a few goals get past him in a row, he knows that he will get it next time. He doesn't let the past affect him in practice or on the course." Junge's hard work from one season to the next is backed by an underlying grit and determination that also fuels his success in the classroom.
A member of the NESCAC All-Academic team, Junge is a dedicated student and manages his time efficiently. He is pursuing his undergraduate degree as a history major, but also enjoys environmental science. In particular, Junge's favorite class so far at Trinity was HIST 219 - Planet Earth, taught by professor Thomas Wickman. Junge raves about Trinity's professors: "They are always there for the students and willing to talk and help you as much as they can." When asked who his favorite Trinity professor is, he quickly responded, "my advisor, Professor Wickman." Junge points out how playing golf and hockey is a good mental break and a way for him to have fun and take his mind off the stress of academics. Junge credits his impressive academic record as a product of his athletic participation.
During the recruitment process, the Illinois native focused on leaving the Midwest and looking for an academically challenging university where he could play both hockey and golf. After his campus visit, Jack knew Trinity was the school for him. "Trinity offers the best combination of high-level academics and competitive athletics," he says. Junge considered playing golf at Division I schools, but thought he may be sacrificing some educational opportunities. "At the Division III level, your sport is not your job, and it is a lot of fun." Junge also loves the size of Trinity and how it is easy to make friends.
Junge loves both sports equally and likes the differences they bring to his life. "When it's summer I love playing golf and being outside, and when it's the winter I love playing hockey and being on the ice." While golf is a very individual sport, there is still a team culture that is different from other sports. "We all want to succeed on our own, while also hoping everyone on our team is getting better and playing their best everyday. Although we want to beat each other, we want to do what is best for the team at the end of day." Junge likes to push himself to do the best he can on the golf course, and also loves the traditional team aspect of the hockey team, particularly the locker room environment.
Junge's role on the golf team is very different than his role on the hockey team. "On the golf team, my role is to play well and contribute to the team's success. Whereas, on the hockey team I have a behind-the-scenes role where my job is to push people as hard as I can and bring a positive attitude." Coach Greason added, "Jack's roles are similar in that the guys respect his hard work and team first mentality. The amount of respect he has on both teams is huge. Jack is leaned upon as a golfer that contributes on the course. As a hockey goalie that won't see much ice time, he is the glue guy in the locker room that will do what the team needs from him."
Although hockey and golf are drastically different sports, Junge identifies similarities between the two. "Both sports are mentally challenging. If I hit a bad shot in golf I have to forget about it right away and this is the same in hockey. If I let in a goal, I can't focus on that and have to let it go and not affect my game."
Coach Greason has seen Junge grow from freshmen year until now and has seen his transformation. "He really struggled in golf in the beginning, but he turned a corner in the spring of his freshman year and realized his potential," said Greason. "He is still working on getting better, and his expectations of himself have changed and he is embracing his leadership role on the team." This year, Junge set some personal goals to improve his performance in both sports, specifically he is striving to better his chipping in golf and making more saves against Coach Greason in hockey.
As an athlete at an early age, Junge had a lot of practice learning to put the last play or game behind him. Junge started playing hockey when he was four years old, and later on picked up the game of golf. Recruited out of New Trier High School and hailing from Winnetka, Ill., Junge loves to compete. He had a very successful high school golf career as a State Champion while also being named team MVP and receiving All-State recognition twice. On the ice, Jack was selected as a Blackhawk Alumni All-Star and led his team to a pair of state titles.
With life after Trinity on the horizon, Junge feels that the lessons he learned as a two-sport athlete about managing his time will very much come in handy. "Sports have taught me how to work hard and how to never give up." Junge has engrained this mentality, which translates into his role as a student. When asked about any advice he has for underclassmen trying to balance school with athletics he offers, "Have fun and stay positive. Don't worry about the little things and enjoy being able to compete and spending time with your teammates."
When Junge isn't competing or studying, he is most likely playing tennis or watching his favorite golfer, Jason Day, or his favorite hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Once his college career ends, Jack plans on staying on the east coast and pursuing a job in the sports industry. "I can't play professionally, but I want sports to be part of my life forever."
-Written by Sarah Connors '18