Throughout the summer, DartmouthSports.com will be focusing on members of the Class of 2019 who are currently in their "Sophomore Summers."
The latest installment features Justin Donawa of the men’s soccer and track & field teams. A two-sport varsity student-athlete, Donawa was an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention player in each of his first two seasons on the pitch, while he finished 17th at the NCAA East Regional in the triple jump during the outdoor season. A native of Sandys, Bermuda, Donawa scored three goals — all game winners — during last fall, and his one goal as a freshman in 2015 was also a game-winning score.
DartmouthSports.com: What have you been doing during your sophomore summer?
Justin Donawa: Sophomore summer has been great so far. In addition to taking classes, I’ve been playing a lot of soccer, lifting, staying fit and just enjoying the weather with my friends. Summer time in Hanover is really beautiful and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the last five weeks of this term.
DS: What was it in the recruiting process that sold you on Dartmouth?
JD: I wanted to find a school that had the best balance of good academics and good soccer. I had narrowed it down to four schools, however, Dartmouth presented me with the best combination of high-end academics and soccer. So, I thought I couldn’t go wrong with coming here.
DS: If you could play another sport at Dartmouth, what would it be and why?
JD: Interestingly enough, I’m also on the track & field team here at Dartmouth. So, besides soccer, that is my other favorite sport. But if I had to choose another one, I would probably choose basketball because I had tons of fun playing it in high school.
DS: What has been your best on-field memory thus far in your Dartmouth career?
JD: I think my best on-field moment at Dartmouth so far, was my first collegiate goal for the soccer team in the fall of 2015. The game was against Columbia at home and was just my third game back from a bad ankle sprain that I suffered in August during preseason. I pick up a loose ball about 15 yards inside Columbia’s half, took one touch, and had a shot from roughly 35 yards out. I caught the keeper totally off guard, and the ball went directly into the bottom right hand corner of the net. The goal made it 2-0 just before halftime and ended up being the winning goal in a 2-1 victory. I will always remember that particular moment of my collegiate soccer career here at Dartmouth.
DS: How is Hanover different or similar to where you grew up?
JD: I was born and raised in Bermuda, a subtropical island about 700 miles off the east coast of the United States. It’s 22 miles long, a mile wide at its widest point, and very flat. Also, the coldest it will ever get in the winter months in Bermuda is around 48-50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature we feel in mid to late September in Hanover. I think the difference between the two places is quite evident.
DS: What’s the app you use most on your phone?
DS: Do you have a nickname on your team? Who gave it to you and why?
JD: I have a couple nicknames on my soccer team. One of them is “JD”, which are simply just my initials. The second one is “Wagwan”. I picked up the second nickname because whenever I see my teammates I would say “Wagwan”, which is West Indian slang for “Wassup?” or “What’s going on?” So my teammates just started to call me that.
DS: You step outside tomorrow morning and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million (after taxes). What would you do with the money?
JD: I would first and foremost take care of my parents by assuring that they have nothing to worry about financially. Secondly, I would use some of the money to pay for the rest of my college tuition and any debt that I will have collected after college. And besides saving a good portion of it, I would also like to travel the world.
DS: What are your post-Dartmouth plans?
JD: I’m trying to play professional soccer. However, if this does not work out, I will either stay to work in the United States or go back to Bermuda to work depending on whatever opportunity best presents itself.