By Steve Svetovich
Dunmore graduating senior Dylan Aquino knows that practice and perfecting the right technique leads to excellence as a track and field hurdler.
And last month the talented recent Dunmore graduate was rewarded for his hard work when named Lackawanna Track Conference Coaches Division III-IV first-team all-star for the hurdle.
Son of Jessica and Ivan Aquino, Dylan was also named the Dunmore track and field team MVP for his efforts in the hurdle.
Dylan, 18, was a four-year member of the Dunmore Bucks football team where he overcame some adversity that could have affected his track and field performance. He suffered a torn labrum to the shoulder as a sophomore and a pulled hamstring as a senior.
Still, he fought hard to rehab from the injuries to compete on both the Dunmore football and track and field teams. He was a wide receiver and defensive back on the Dunmore football team under coach Kevin McHale. He had one interception.
He injured his right hamstring again during Dunmore’s first track and field meet this past season, but was able to bounce back strong.
Dylan graduated last month with a 3.1 academic average at Dunmore High School. He was a member of the Spanish Club and the Earth Club.
He was a second-team Lackawanna Football Conference Coaches all-star as a defensive back for football.
He will attend Wilkes College where he will play football in the fall.
Mike DeSando was his track and field coach at Dunmore. “He was great,” Dylan said. “He taught me absolutely everything I know about track.”
The track and field hurdler said he owes a lot to his parents. “They always tell me to never give up. They tell me to out work everyone else. Work harder than anyone no matter what you are doing.”
Dylan talked about what it takes to excel as a hurdler in high school track and field. “Technique is everything,” he said. “Once you get that down, then you have it. Keep practicing the right technique.”
Dylan said he enjoyed his years at Dunmore despite the transitions students were forced to make due to COVID-19. “My time at Dunmore was more than interesting,” he said. “I enjoyed my years at Dunmore, but we had to make a lot of transitions due to COVID. There were all different kinds of transitions, but I made it through them okay. I missed going to class and missed my friends at times. It was tough in that respect.”
The talented hurdler said he will study exercise science at Wilkes College. He hopes to eventually become a physical therapist. His best academic subject is chemistry.
Dylan enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Juice World, a rapper, in concert.
He plans on working at a job and training in his spare time for football this summer. He wants to play safety for the Wilkes football team.
He said Dunmore football coach Kevin McHale was a big influence. “You learn a lot about discipline from coach McHale,” he said. “That is the very first thing he teaches.”
Dylan said he also had the privilege of meeting former Dunmore football coach Jack Henzes before he retired.
The polite and hard-working Dunmore graduate talked about his future goals. “Well, eventually I want to become a physical therapist and possibly open and run a gym. I would love to do that. I am also looking forward to playing football at Wilkes. I can’t wait for that. I know it takes seven years to become a physical therapist, so I want to do well academically in college.”