Sept. 13, 2017

As we gear up for and continue through the 2017-18 season, members of the Virginia wrestling team took some time to sit down and answer a few questions to provide a little insight and help our fans get to know them better as student-athletes.

Name: Zak DePasquale
Psychology and Cognitive Science
Classification: Senior
Weight Class: 165/174
Hometown: Fairfax, Va.
High School: Robinson

What do you love most about competing as a Virginia Cavalier?
I love wrestling for more than just myself. On the mat, each person represents the entire program, which includes an incredible coaching staff and teammates who we have come incredibly close to.

Why did you choose Virginia?
Virginia had a sense of energy in the air that I could not find at other schools I was looking at. In the wrestling room, everyone is looking to get better and work hard every day. And in the classroom, there is a passion for learning and feeding off of the perspectives of classmates.

What will be your lasting memory of your time as a Virginia Cavalier?
Being a part of the ACC Championship team in 2015 will stick out for me as far as an athletic memory. I was in the process of recovering from an injury at the time, but I remember watching from on campus and getting so excited seeing win after win from all ten of our starting wrestlers.

What defines a Cavalier?
On our team, a Cavalier lives out Coach Garland’s core pillars: focus, discipline, and consistency. We have defined goals in our athletic and academic lives, will live our lifestyles conducive to achieving those goals, and never stray from our game plans.

Who or what motivates you in your sport?
I’m motivated by my teammates, and wrestle in a way that I know will represent them and this program proudly.

What are your goals for the season?
My goal, as someone who will not be competing, is to be a part of another ACC Championship team. I believe that if everyone contributes and lives their lives according to the same goal, we can accomplish this and be a contender for a trophy at nationals.

Favorite family vacation?
My family went on a trip to Italy about eight years ago. My ancestry is from there, and we got to see several different areas of a beautiful historic land.

Favorite class?
I love all my classes, but my favorite so far has been Innovation and Social Impact. A part of the Entrepreneurship minor program, the course focuses on the creation of ventures that are both for-profit and have a focus on social impact in underprivileged areas around the world.

Favorite breakfast food?

Favorite movie?
Pay It Forward

What would you sing at Karaoke night?
Mr. Brightside, although wouldn’t anyone pick that song

Teammates would describe you as?
Hardworking, smart guy who looks out for others

Who is your hero and why?
My hero is myself in 10 years because although I’ll never become him, I’ll always have something to work towards. Matthew McConaughey said that in a speech once.

Name one thing most people probably don’t know about you?
I have been playing concert piano since I was five years old.

Besides your own sport, what’s a sporting event on Grounds that fans need to experience at least once and why?
I’ve been to a field hockey game that was pretty exciting because although I didn’t know all the rules, it was high paced and the fans were getting into it. Plus, people need to support us low budget sports.

If you could play any other sport, what would it be?
Lacrosse, only because you can hit people.

If you could give any advice to younger athletes entering the sport what would it be?
Never stop working, and start asking coaches what else you can be doing to get better. Nothing will be handed to you, so the quicker you embrace that and take it as a challenge, the better.

Nickname (is there a story you can share that goes with it)?
Depo. It’s all I go by these days-it’s just a short version of my last name that my dad used to be called in college.

Favorite holiday?

Favorite TV show?

What is your biggest fear?
I hate all sorts of bugs. I would have said snakes but my roommate Tyler Love bought one without telling me this year so I’ve had to get used to them.

Dream job?
Any job that puts me in a position of leadership and enables me to comfortably support my family.

Best Athletic Memory?
All of my athletics memories in college have been injury-related, so I’d have to go back to winning the state championship in high school. I was an underdog and won in my home gym, so it was a pretty special day.