Gordon College News Service
December 10, 2013
(This story is a part of a package of stories on college athletes written for the Boston Globe North.)
SALEM—Christmas break for Salem State’s men’s ice hockey senior Mark Macdonald, 22, of Norwell, will be short. Winter practice starts up again on Dec. 28 with the team’s first tournament on Jan. 2 and the Frozen Fenway event in Fenway Park on Jan. 7 against UMASS Boston.
“Hockey’s the sport that I’ve always revolved the schedule around,” said Macdonald. “You’re committed to the team from the middle of October to the beginning of March, and you’re with the same kids everyday.”
Macdonald first picked up a hockey stick at age four. He played on club teams until high school at the Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Mass., where he played three years of varsity. He played one year of Midget AAA for the Boston Advantage Hockey club. After graduating in 2009, he took a year off and played junior hockey for the Bridgewater Bandits. In 2010, he enrolled at Salem State as a finance major with a minor in economics.
“The older I’ve gotten the tougher it has been to balance hockey and school, but I know hockey has 100 percent helped me in my academics,” said Macdonald. “I think you become more productive by being an athlete in school, because you have to be.”
Macdonald is committed to hockey practice everyday from 1:30 to 4:30, while also taking six classes and doing an internship with the athletics department. He is unsure about his plans after college, but he wants to gain some work experience before going on to graduate school.
“It’s going to be a tough transition to stop training for hockey everyday,” he said. “I’m hopefully going into a fulltime job, but I also want to stay involved in the sport, maybe even coach part time.”