The Dolphin Dozen series of interviews conducted by "Voice of the Dolphins" Scott Manze continues with men's lacrosse redshirt-sophomore Tommy Barnhorst. He is in his third year in the program. You can listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
- Do you have any superstitions that you have to do on a game day?
Yeah, early in the morning I get into the weight room. I get the foam roller in, I'll get band stretches. It's funny, my coach will come in around the same time and get an actual lift in, and he's always just like 'you know it's not a track meet, right?' [laughs] but I like to do that on game day, get the body right a little bit.
Getting loose though, it's important. You have to value the stretching and everything, you don't want to pull something, right?
That's what I'm saying! I'm just trying to have legs under me. I guess he doesn't get it [laughs], but I'm going to keep it up.
- Do you have a moment that stands out from your athletic career thus far?
Yeah, one thing I'm pretty proud of is, you know, freshmen year I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus, and there are obviously negative thoughts throughout that experience, but I ended up coming back from that. I got a season under my belt playing after that and I'm feeling better than ever right now, so I'm pretty proud of that.
- When did you start playing lacrosse?
It's actually a funny story. In my sixth grade year, well, I was always big into baseball and then I tried out for our select team and I got cut. I'm still saying that's political [laughs], but at that point I was just trying to be a multisport athlete, figuring myself out, so I picked up a stick and my coach just said run around and have a go at it, and ever since then I guess, sixth grade was the year I started playing. So it's been great.
- So is baseball the answer to the question: If you weren't playing lacrosse, what sport would you be playing?
You know, no. I don't think it is. I do enjoy baseball, but I'd love to be a great basketball player. I mean, I've never had a shot, but maybe one day, right?
[laughs] Are you a pickup guy then? You get out there and just try to get some run in?
Yeah, every time I get a little time off from lacrosse, I'll hit up the local gym, I'll drop a couple dimes on the kids. [laughs] It's a good time.
- Do you have a number one song on a hype pregame playlist right now?
Yeah, I feel like recently our squad's been big into EDM. I like, lately, this song called "Losing It" by Fisher. Just like the beat, and all the boys going at it at the same time it's pretty hype. I'd stick with that right now.
- What brought you here to JU?
I'm from Ohio and I'm really not a fan of playing lacrosse in the cold, so I kinda looked at schools in the south a little bit and found JU. Love the aspect that it was just in Florida, close to the beach, and then academically I love the small class sizes too. I think that's a huge benefit, so I think those two factors are the biggest thing.
- You're a Cincinnati guy, I'm a Cincinnati guy by proxy having gone to college up there so I want to hear it from your perspective, what defines Cincinnati?
Cincinnati man, I'm going to go with just passion. Everything that everyone does in Cincinnati is out of heart and their love for whatever it is. So everything that you have to do is all dealt with passion, whatever your desires are. It's awesome, it's a great atmosphere.
Now, these next few questions are off script, but Cincinnati people, maybe all five of them that are going to listen to this will get it. Skyline or Gold Star?
Skyline. I can't even, I mean you aren't from Cincinnati if you say Gold Star.
Greaters or Aglamesis Brothers?
That's tougher, but I still think Greaters has it by a long shot. I really do.
[Laughs] Most people aren't even going to understand what any of that stuff means, but I get it and I know at least a couple people will get it and appreciate it. I don't know anyone who's answered Gold Star to that first question.
I don't know how they're still in business, honestly. I really don't.
- What is your major and how did you choose it?
So the major is marketing. I definitely want to go into the sports industry and I wanted to do a major around that, but I just kinda figured with marketing it's a little more broad and if I find something in the sports field, I can easily get into that.
- Do you have a favorite road trip memory thus far from your time at JU?
Yeah, I think my favorite thus far would have to be going to the SoCon Tournament last season. It was just in Richmond; it wasn't really that special of a place, but just the win. The first one we got over High Point, we were down by a lot at half and came back to win in overtime. That was just a great memory so far from my career.
Does it have you itching to get back to that same spot this year?
Absolutely, yeah. And hopefully we can finish stronger this year. That's a goal.
- What number do you wear?
Any particular reason you wear number six?
I wish there was more of a reason, but coming in as a freshman, and obviously freshmen get last dibs on everything, and I was looking for kinda some of the coolest numbers out there and I just felt six was pretty cool. A lot of the guys were saying 'well six isn't chosen for a reason, that's an unlucky number, everyone that wears six transfers or leaves or something'. And unfortunately, [laughs] I did get hurt freshmen year but I stick with it, I broke that transfer curse. I'm still here and I'm sticking with it. I enjoy it so, that's the story.
Single digits though, right, that's usually pretty cool, I think. It's kinda rare to see a single digit not chosen even if it is cursed in this case.
Yeah, absolutely. I think I rock it fine, I love it, and you know, I broke the curse so it's all good things. All positive.
There you go, Tommy Barnhorst, curse breaker. We can give him a nickname now.
- Do you have a particular meal you eat pregame on game day?
Most of our games are at 12 usually on Saturdays so it's hard to, say, stick with a certain breakfast, but if it's a home game I definitely shoot for Maggiano's the night before. I'll go chicken parm[esean] meal, it always seems to get the job done, so I'm going to keep sticking with that.
- Final question, it's always a two-parter. First part comes from golfer Sam Uhland, he wants to know how many hours have you put into your sport, practicing, playing games, from the time you started it until now?
That's a really tough one to answer. [Laughs] I'm going to go with…you know I'm a marketing major for a reason, I'm not going to do that math right now [laughter]. I'm just going to go with way too many to count. I'll stick with that one.
From sixth grade until now, I'm sure there have been countless hours. You'd have to track it from the beginning until now to have a really good concept of that. Now do you have a question you'd like to pose to a fellow student-athlete?
I'll do a real nice, simple one, not one that involves a ton of math [laughs]. What is your favorite thing about being a Division I athlete here at JU?