His head’s in the game, his heart’s on the stage

Struckman excels on lacrosse field and center stage


Liz Byrne, Editor in Cheif

When High School Musical premiered on Disney Channel in January 2006, Troy Bolton stole every tween’s heart. Who couldn’t resist his dazzling smile and perfect hair? He was a star on the court and on-stage, combining the best of both worlds.

New Trier, meet your resident Troy Bolton: Zack Struckman.

On top of being a two-time varsity state lacrosse player, he has an intense dedication to the performing arts, taking two periods of theatre every day.

Struckman is no stranger to sports. Before he started playing lacrosse, he was a dedicated hockey player. He said his love for lacrosse started the summer before sixth grade at a Wildcats sports camp. He was motivated by his friends’ common love for the sport.

“I first played at the Wildcats Sports Camp over the summer and I loved it so much I started playing the next year,” Struckman said. “Also, all my friends had started the previous year, so I felt kind of left out.”

Struckman has loved playing lacrosse ever since. A member of the New Trier lacrosse team since freshman year, he helped the varsity team win two state championships. While Struckman said that winning state two years in a row “with the boys” was a great experience, he admits the best part about the season is the much-hyped Loyola vs. New Trier game.

“All the guys get really hyped all week for the game because it’s our big rivalry,” Struckman said. “There’s just something really exhilarating about being out on the field during that game.”

When Struckman is not out on the field defeating the Loyola lacrosse team, he can be found in the McGee Theatre, rehearsing a scene for class or helping out the performing arts department in general.

Struckman said he fell in love with acting and the performing arts at the beginning of his junior year, but he said he was first introduced to the craft in third grade, when he was cast in a community theatre production of High School Musical.

Due to his busy lacrosse and hockey schedules, Struckman was never able to find time to try acting, before junior year, even though he wanted to be involved since he was young.

“After I retired from hockey, it took me a year to stomach up the courage to try something entirely new, with people I didn’t really know,” Struckman said. “It was totally worth it because I love acting so much and the theatre squad is the best.”

To Struckman, performing and being on stage is all about the people who are involved in the performing arts at New Trier.

“I love the people,” Struckman said. “I feel comfortable acting like a weirdo for two periods and after school everyday.”

This past fall, Struckman was cast in the New Trier Performing Arts Department production of “She Kills Monsters.” This was Struckman’s first extracurricular production at New Trier and he said it was one of the best moments of his senior year.

“There’s something about being on stage, when you just kind of get lost in the moment, that is just so magical,” said Struckman.