SWAMPSCOTT — With 14 seniors on its roster in 2017, the Swampscott football team had an abundance of experienced seasoned leaders last year. Now, with only six seniors on the 2018 roster, Swampscott will rely on its juniors class for leadership this fall season.
One of those young leaders is junior captain Dylan January, who will play vital roles at middle linebacker on defense and running back/wide receiver on offense for the Big Blue.
Playing multiple positions is easier said than done in football but Swampscott head coach Bobby Serino said he has nothing but confidence in January.
“Dylan is going to play the ‘mike linebacker’ role and running back and also take snaps at inside slot receiver because he has great hands,” Serino said. “He’s a really fast kid so we’re very excited to use him both in the backfield and spread out as a receiver.”
January enters his junior football season after a solid sophomore campaign with the Big Blue baseball team this past spring. A catcher, January follows the footsteps of his older brother, Ryan, who’s currently playing professional baseball at the Single-A level for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ryan was also a catcher at Swampscott High.
January has made the commitment to improving on the gridiron throughout the preseason and stepping up to his new leadership role. Serino said January has already showed signs of leadership.
“He had been committed to us,” Serino said. “He’s a really good baseball player as well but he committed to our offseason workouts this year. He limited his trips and AAU baseball and he committed to being in shape and being ready to go for this football season. He has already shown leadership and we’re really excited for him to have a good season.”
Being named captain in his junior season is an honor for January’s looking forward to. January said he takes the role with pride, especially given the great history of tradition that comes with wearing the Big Blue uniform.
“It’s an honor,” January said. “This is a big football town and being a captain around here is something not to take lightly. I’m very proud to be apart of it.”
Serino said January has looked sharp thus far in the preseason. Much like the rest of his fellow captains, January has helped establish a hard-working, dedicated approach to practice during the preseason.
“Dylan has actually shown a lot of leadership already,” Serino said. “He’s come a long way in his commitment to the game, with his working out off the field and improving his running and his speed.
“How he practices, like all of our captains, is contagious,” Serino added. “They’re the first ones out on the field and always the first ones running to the next drill. When you practice like that it’s contagious in a good way. He’s been a great leader on and off the field for us.”
Creating a positive energy at practice is something that January has made it a point to work on during the preseason.
“I try to lead by example and try to set the tone each day in practice by doing the little things right so that my teammates can feed off of that energy,” January said.
January said he only has a few goals this upcoming season, including focusing on being the best teammate he can be.
“I don’t have any real personal goals to say other than just working as hard as I can all year,” January said. “I want to focus on being the best player I can be each game and also on being the best teammate I can be all year.”
January and the Big Blue open the new season September 8 when they host Greater Lawrence.
“I’m really looking forward right now to game one,” January added. “I just want to focus on working out and practicing hard until then and then going out there and competing the best we can.”