Thursday, February 16, 2017

Faces of Brockport: Dylan Shapiro

Having first stepped on the ice at the age of three, and played in his first competitive game at five, hockey is a huge part of Dylan Shapiro's life. Like so many student-athletes however, his interests reach far outside his sport.

The youngest of five, with two older brothers and two older sisters, Dylan and his brother were pushed into the sport when their dad signed them up at a young age. Although he never played growing up, his father joined a men's league in his thirties and fell in love with the sport.

"He got my brother and I skating at an early age and we played together for a while," said Shapiro. "He eventually had a bad leg injury and stopped, but I kept on playing."

The Rochester, N.Y. native developed into an outstanding hockey player, even getting Division I looks after playing for the Rochester Junior Americans (USPHL).

"My dad and I visited UMass Lowell, and I fell in love with the school", recalled Shapiro. "I didn't really understand the recruiting process at that point, and when it came time to go my family couldn't afford the tuition without an athletic scholarship."

After looking at a few other private schools, he finally settled on Brockport. Not only was it close to home so that his family and friends could watch him play, it also had a great program in the major he wanted to pursue – nursing.

"I originally became interested in nursing because my mother, who passed away, was a nurse," noted Shapiro. "So there were sentimental reasons. But as far as the career, I love how there are so many different paths you can take and directions you can go. You can really work anywhere in the country, even anywhere in the world."

The junior will get that chance after graduation next year, as he recently enlisted into the Naval Nurse Corp., and will serve for five years post-graduation.

"I was accepted over the Christmas break," recalled Shapiro. "Coach Dicksinson actually helped me out with everything because I needed a bunch of references. The way it works is once I graduate, I'll go to an officer training program in Rhode Island for five or six weeks, and then they'll decide which Naval hospital I'll be based at."

Dylan is very excited for the opportunity to put his skill set to good use, especially after the tremendous amount of work he's put in to get to this point. His current class schedule has him taking tests on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week, while also balancing practice every day and games on the weekends.

"The nursing program is definitely grueling," said Shapiro. I'm almost always studying either in the library or on the bus. I'm only human so it gets hard sometimes. But I like to be busy, and hockey serves as a release from school so I enjoy that too."