Size Doesn’t Matter When You Believe In Your Talent
By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Bartlett High School’s Dylan Greenwood stands only 5’6” and weighs 240 pounds and entering his senior year he will find himself on the Indian’s offensive varsity football line for the third year as a starter and his sixth year in the program. While the senior is not considered a typical football player, Greenwood doesn’t let his size bother him.
“Size doesn’t interfere with my playing. I just think that people see me and underestimate my talents because of my size and then all of a sudden their getting pushed back and hit hard,” Greenwood said. “Being small gives me a lower center of gravity, which gives me a boost when I’m going up against the bigger guys.”
Football Coach Dale Lasboissonniere likes the element of surprise that Greenwood asserts on the opponent.
Dylan is a dedicated, selfless individual that works really hard at his craft, nothing is handed to him,” the Coach said. “He has an unbelievable work ethic with toughness. He knows all our schemes inside and out, studies film and is always working on his technique. He is not your prototypical lineman, but he gets it done against the bigger guys.”
The Indian senior began playing football at a very young age in a Pop Warner program in Connecticut, while trying out different positions to see what interested him. It wasn’t until he joined the Oxford-Webster Pirates youth football league that he found his true calling.
According to the Bartlett athlete, it was here that the coaching staff saw something in his play where they decided to try Greenwood out at noseguard.
“I have always felt that I was a good defensive player and when the coaches moved me to noseguard I found that I really loved the position,” he said. “Playing the position allowed me to hit and tackle people, my favorite part of football. I loved pushing kids around and then being able to tackle the quarterback.”
With the joy he found playing on the defensive line Greenwood envisioned himself as an eventual linebacker, but it wasn’t to be as the offensive line is where the team really needed someone with his talents. Accepting his fate, he just went out and did his job while sometimes embarrassing the opposition’s defense.
“I tend not to worry about it (his smaller stature), I just work hard on become the best player I can be and then go out and show everyone who I am and what I can do,” he said. “The skill players seem to get all the accolades, but it doesn’t bother me, I’m here to do my thing and help the tam win. Eventually people will realize that the offensive lien deserves credit too.”
As Coach Lasboissonniere said earlier, nothing was handed to Greenwood. During his freshman campaign he had to fight for his position; Bartlett had a lot of bigger and more talented athletes on the team standing in his way of a starting position. Greenwood was ok with not getting a starting role just yet, he wanted people to know him for his hard work. By the end of the first season the freshman found his way onto the field for some playing time.
Following that season, the young football player was determined to get into the starting lineup and play for the Indians.
“After that year I thought to myself am I content riding the bench, or do I want to start?” Greenwood said. “Of course, I wanted to start so I began working extremely hard and grinded it out during the off-season to solidify a position on the offensive line.”
During his sophomore season Greenwood found himself starting, but it wasn’t where he thought it would be. The coaching staff moved him to inside tackle, but it didn’t bother him – starting was the big reward.
With the movement during his sophomore season Greenwood wasn’t sure what was going to happen, especially with Coach Lasboissonniere coming back after taking a year off. The returning coach surprised the now junior by placing him at center, a position he had never played.
“Center was a big change and I really had to work on my game as so many people are relying heavily on you. After getting used to the position I felt that I had a pretty good year, one in which I actually did better than I expected to have. I was worried for sure as I had never snapped a football before, and I didn’t want to screw up and ruin things for my teammates; how would they react,” he said.
Coming into this fall, the senior will be back to playing offensive as well as defensive tackles for the Indians. However, it still won’t all be rosy for the senior as the team will be doing a lot of pulling this year on the offensive side of the ball and Greenwood has got himself a lot to learn, but he’s confident things will be ok.
In addition to the now senior being moved all over the place for the past three years, Bartlett has not been a very good football team once it takes to the field going up against some very tough opponents.
“It’s been a tough couple of years with minimal wins,” the Bartlett coach said. “Dylan played on some teams that were not that great, but he continued to come back year after year, especially when others were walking away. His mentality is impressive and is very good for the younger guys.”
Having survived those treacherous seasons, Greenwood is hoping that the Indians can turn things around a bit this year.
“I am not proud of our records. I guess the five wins we have are better than no wins,” he said. “I could have walked away, but I love the sport too much and have worked hard to get where I am today. I believe in this team and the dedication that they have displayed this year is unbelievable.”
Greenwood knows that the team is not going to go to the top of the league and win the Super Bowl, but he is hoping that he can walk onto the field each week and make a mark on Bartlett football showing people that being big and tall doesn’t really matter; it’s how hard you play the game.
Although Bartlett once again may not find themselves amongst the elite teams, Coach Lasboissonniere and his staff know one thing is certain – that Dylan Greenwood is going to take the field and give everything he has trying to get the Indians a win while showing the younger players what it takes to succeed.