Luke Trinka, Men's Tennis, Bowdoin College
During his time in Brunswick, men's tennis player Luke Trinka (Oak Park, Ill.) grew from a non-playing first-year into a critical member of a national championship squad as a senior. And that was only part of his growth as a student at Bowdoin.
Trinka did not see the court until midway through his first season at Bowdoin, cracking into the doubles lineup and posting an unbeaten 9-0 mark with his teammate. After committing himself to improving his game before his sophomore campaign, he returned to win the ITA New England Regional in the fall of 2013 and capture All-American status. Since that time, he was always found near the top of the Bowdoin ladder and culminated his playing career with a triumphant run through the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship. He went unbeaten in NCAA Tournament play (4-0) and captured the match-clinching points in wins over MIT and Emory en route to the first national championship in Bowdoin men's tennis history. He was named the ITA Division III Most Improved Player and also netted ITA All-America and First Team All-NESCAC doubles recognition.
Off the court, Trinka was even more impactful. A constant presence at volunteer and community service events, he helped organize and participate in the Mary Diaz and Williams Copeland, Jr. Memorial Tennis Tournament to help raise funds for pancreatic cancer reseach, was a teaching assistant with Working In The Schools (WITS) where he helped as a literacy support specialist with kindergartners, as well as volunteering during Bowdoin's Common Good Day and with the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program. After graduating, Trinka will work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and a non-profit organization called the Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund. As a senior, he was awarded the school's Wil Smith Community Service Award for his selfless efforts.
"Luke is an extremely compassionate person and has brought that attitude and perspective to the Bowdoin men's tennis team," said head men's tennis coach Conor Smith. "There is an immense feeling of gratitude in his own life that motivates him to strive for the betterment of others. Luke approaches the Bowdoin ideal of the Common Good very seriously and I believe this is indicative in the life he leads."