Force Is Strong With Dallas Boys
DALLAS — It wasn’t quite a work of science fiction or fantasy, but the Dallas boys winning their second straight District 2 swimming title reminded some of the adventures of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
“All of us, all season, we’ve been working our butts off,” said Dallas sophomore JR Redmond. “But to see us win districts, again, shocked me. I was hoping for it, I knew there was a chance, but that was like the rebels blowing up the Death Star. It was amazing.”
But once the mission was accomplished, the fighter jets had to switch gears to defend their own ground.
“We got to hold the Dallas name. We’re district champions, we can’t go down there and just lose all our events,” said junior Shane Szczecinski. “All of us are definitely excited about competing. Me and Dennis (Dukinas) are competing in individuals. So we’re hoping to get honorable mentions and medals. Our relays, if we go as fast as I want us to, then hopefully we’ll medal.”
Bringing the district championship plaque back to the school also brought an added level of excitement with attention turned toward states.
“Its’ given us a lot of hype,” said Dukinas, a sophomore. “We’ve gotten hyped and overall we’re really excited to go into states. After the big win with 10 guys, we’re ready. We’re really ready to do this. Were all-around ready to do this.”
Dukinas and Szczecinski will each swim in two individual events at states — Dukinas the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, Szczecinski the 100 and 200 freestyles.
The duo also teamed with Redmond and Zachary Blockus to qualify for the 400 freestyle relay out of districts.
“When I saw (we qualified), we have a group chat, it went crazy,” Redmond said. “We all put a bunch of GIFs of “Star Wars” and other things. It shocked me. This season is full of, boom. Just crazy.”
A big reason Dallas has been able to accomplish what it has and get as many boys to states has been the team leader, coach Romayne Moiser.
“I definitely think none of us would be where we are without our coach,” Szczecinski said. “She trains us differently than any other school I know of anyway. I’ve even looked into college stuff and they train so much differently than we do. I just think that’s had such a huge impact on us. ... She cares so much. She really is behind what drives me, anyway.”
Others are driven by the relationships formed within the team.
“Last year was really fun, but I was one of the slow kids because it was my second year swimming,” Redmond said. “This year, I’m trying to get everyone together. We’re already a family. It’s a bonding sport. I’m trying to get us out this year, be best friends. A lot of people are talking to each other its fun.
“I think if we didn’t stick together and if we fought or didn’t talk at all, we wouldn’t make it that far. I don’t think anyone expected the boys to win districts, but we’re together. We’re in through the end.”
For Dukinas, his driving force is not swimming at states last year.
“I really worked hard for this. I really wanted to go,” he said. “I had that drive at the beginning of the season that I wanted to go. I wanted to drop time and go to states because I wanted to experience that for every single year after freshman year. After freshman year I told myself, we’re not slacking any more. We’re just going right into it. We’re getting stuff done and we’re going to states.”
The day of states has been circled on Dukinas’ calendar for a full year. Now that it’s here, he’s ready to leave it all in the pool.
“We all know we have to do out there and we got to go do it,” he said. “It’s really all -around is what we have to do. We have that mindset we have to go out there, we got to do what we got to do, put out 100 percent. There’s nothing else in our heads. It’s just about winning and putting everything into that race.
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