A working man's approach
Logan Lavorato has never been afraid of a little hard work. Had he been, he certainly wouldn’t be completing his fifth year of hockey at the Canada West level, nor would he be a three-time Academic All Canadian preparing to graduate this spring.
“You know what you’re going to get from him,” University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey coach Greg Gatto says succinctly. “He’s been our first-line centre, our fourth-line centre, he’s played wing and one weekend in Calgary we even put him on (defence) for a couple shifts. You couldn’t ask for anything more than what he gives you.”
That’s pretty much been the story for Lavorato’s entire career – he’ll do what he has to in order to get the job done.
Lavorato, a Lethbridge native and Catholic Central High School grad, is a five-foot-nine inch grinder who never scored more than 15 goals in junior hockey and has 19 career goals in five years at the Canada West level. While the numbers are not outstanding, testament to the value of his role is the fact he wore the ‘A’ of an assistant captain for two seasons.
“That’s how I got to the junior level and how I got to this level and what’s allowed me to stay here for five years,” Lavorato says. “I don’t think there’s any shame in not being that top scoring guy. Everyone’s got a role on the team, and I’ve kind of risen to that hard-working, mucking it up kind of role.”
He takes the same attitude to the classroom, where study habits mimic his on-ice tendencies – he works to achieve his goals.
“I’m a believer that you get out of it what you put into it, so the harder you work at it, the more you’ll get out of your education,” he says.
Preparing to graduate with a degree in finance from the Faculty of Management, Lavorato dabbled in a number of areas over his years at the U of L and for a while, looked like he was going to become a teacher.
“I enjoyed my experience in education but decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do forever, and thought that I had a few more options in the management faculty.”
That he managed to maintain his high academic standing despite the shift in focus is impressive but not unexpected. Lavorato knew all along that when he came to university, his studies were the prime focus.
“I’ve always been a pretty good student, so I’d had those study habits already developed coming in here. With my family, it’s always been an emphasis to perform well in school,” he says, acknowledging the recognition of being named to the Academic All Canadian roster is a point of pride.
“You bet. It shows a lot as far as time management skills. It’s rewarding to know you’ve put in some hard work over the past year, and it’s nice to get that little bit of cash and a plaque to prove you did it.”
As a fifth-year student, Lavorato took a step back from his official leadership duties with the Horns, declining to wear a letter on his sweater this season. Ironically, it may have further cemented his role as a team leader.
“Coming into my last year, I just thought that my priorities and focus might be in a little different place. I really wanted to focus on school and finish that up right and put some extra effort there,” he says. “Not having a letter doesn’t change who I am, I’m the same person. I thought it was time for some of the younger guys to maybe take the reins.”
Lavorato is already transitioning into his post-hockey career. A representative on Student Athletes Council, Lavorato says the committee has been working hard to establish a stronger connection between all the Pronghorn programs. He also plans to be an active alumnus, supporting the men’s hockey program in any manner he can. He sees a program moving forward and with his local roots, wants to continue to see homegrown players donning Pronghorns blue.
“That’s just (Lavorato), anything you ask him to do, he always steps up,” says Gatto.
That’s why, as the next phase of his life begins, the transition will be greeted with a similar work ethic.
“My options are pretty open right now but the tough thing is I’m facing the realization I’m entering the real world in a couple months,” he laughs. “I’d like to stay around southern Alberta but we’ll see where it takes me.”
Likely, wherever he wants to go.