Today's student-athlete profile turns to men's soccer senior George Ladner '21. George came to Dickinson with some great perspective of the world, having spent time in Vienna, Austria and attending the American International School of Vienna. He has been a leader on the soccer team and on campus, serving as an ROTC Cadet and as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. George has proven to be a strong defender for the Red Devils, helping lead the team to three straight Centennial Conference playoff appearances. They advanced to the semifinals in each of the past two seasons and into the conference championship game and the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
George shared his experience about choosing Dickinson and how life and college has changed during the pandemic.
What made you come to Dickinson?
After my first visit, I knew Dickinson was where I wanted to spend my next four years. The friendships and tight team atmosphere radiated during my overnight visit. The competitiveness of the Centennial Conference and the ability to also be an ROTC Cadet, while pursuing my academic goals, was all made possible at Dickinson.
What have you enjoyed most about being a Dickinson Red Devil?
As a senior, I am now in the position on my sports team and in ROTC to lead and influence the programs. I have enjoyed the ability to make positive change in both programs and ensure that a culture of excellence exists on the field and in ROTC.
Are there any interesting stories or experiences you have had during the pandemic?
I was supposed to have about ten weeks of training with the Army this summer. When this was canceled, I worked as a Sports Director for a youth camp. Being able to see the joy in all of the children and to work with so many incredible teachers and educators was extremely rewarding. Just from coaching and mentoring those kids I know the future of America is so bright!
What do you miss most about not being able to play your season?
I miss the brotherhood shared between my teammates. I miss the ability to both work through tough challenges and also share jokes with my teammates. My team represents a diverse group of young men that come together to strive for academic excellence and to win soccer championships.
What kinds of things are you doing to train and stay in shape?
I ran a half marathon this summer and have gotten into road biking. With ROTC we are constantly lifting and preparing for fitness tests, so I have not had any issues maintaining or improving my fitness.
What do you miss most about not being at school/on campus?
When people ask me the difference between Dickinson and another college, I like to talk about my walks to class. The campus is so small, and the walks are so short, yet every time my peers and I walk around campus we are greeted with smiles, waves, and handshakes from friends and professors. There is a sense of community like nowhere else. Dickinson isn't the same without the full student population on campus. I miss having every single student here.
How have you adjusted to remote learning?
I believe, in particular this semester Dickinson has done a great job with remote learning. Because of the amount of time spent in front of my laptop during remote learning, I have tried to spend as much time possible outside.
What advice do you have for incoming students (or other students in general) about remote learning and/or how you are training?
Dickinson is a small pond with infinite resources and opportunities. Strive to be the big fish in the small pond. Take advantage of all that it has to offer, because your four years will fly by. Treat everyone with dignity and respect but be, "the big man on campus."
Why are you Dickinson Proud? Why do you think more generations of student-athletes should come to Dickinson?
I am Dickinson proud because I know that since September 9th, 1783 it has provided the opportunity for students from across the world to better themselves every single day. The incredible and approachable professors, the phenomenal athletic facilities, the friendships that will last forever, and the ability to grow into the person you've always wanted to be, is why I am Dickinson proud.