Athlete Spotlight: Mount Greylock's Sam Dils
Dils was a superstar on the soccer pitch in the fall, and doubled up as the starting point guard on the Greylock basketball team. Now, as his final high school season rolls around, he is shifting from his typical spot on the tennis team to give track and field a try.
Berkshire Eagle: How'd you decide to switch from tennis to track?
Sam Dils: Our coach actually moved on to become the MCLA coach, and we already had a pretty small team. Obviously, we were very successful, but I think for a lot of us, tennis wasn't our main sport. A couple people were on the fence about returning and one thing led to another. Didn't seem like there was really going to be a full team. Obviously we'll miss it and had a lot of fun.
BE: What are you plans for next year?
SD: I'm going to Hamilton College. The goal is to play soccer there. I've been in contact with the coach for the last year. I pretty much knew in the summer I was going to apply early. I found out I got in around mid-December, which was nice.
BE: You've had a healthy, varied career. What's the biggest win that comes to mind?
SD: One that comes to mind, my eighth grade year, the Western Massachusetts semifinals against Monument. We went to PKs and we came out on top in the most improbable of fashion. We were down 3-0, but somehow were able to claw back. I actually didn't shoot a PK, I would've been the next one up. I think it went to seven rounds. Cal Filson was the goalie and made some huge saves.
BE: How about your worst loss?
SD: Freshmen year, the Western Mass. finals was a very similar situation. Against Belchertown, the team that has kind of been our archrival. That was definitely the hardest. I thought, pound-for-pound we were as good, if not better, than them that year. But we missed a couple chances, went into PKs, 10 or 11 rounds. It was a really tough one to swallow.
BE: What's the toughest defense you've faced in soccer and basketball?
SD: I feel like going up against Monument in soccer is always tough. They're always tall, fast and really dialed in defensively. Over the years, it's always been them, especially down at their tight, narrow field. In basketball, I've had some really good battles with Reece Racette from Drury. We've had a good little rivalry. He's a really good player.
BE: What's it like playing for your father, Blair Dils, at the high school level?
SD: I've never really seen it as a conflict. He's coached be really since I was little in youth soccer, and all my friends. It just keeps me really focused on soccer in the fall, because pretty much everyone in my house is really dialed in on it after every game. It keeps me extra motivated.
BE: He was revealed to be behind the Greylock Snow Day blog. Are you into that stuff as well?
SD: I certainly enjoy snow days as much as he does, but in terms of the tracking and monitoring radars, I wouldn't say I have quite the enthusiasm he does. I am always one of the first to know, and my friends are always asking me for the inside scoop, which can get annoying. But it's a fun thing.
BE: How's your March Madness bracket looking?
SD: Well, it was good. I really crushed it through the first two rounds. I picked Loyola-Chicago into the Elite Eight, which was a great. I did have Duke winning it all, though. The Virginia loss hurt me too. Was going well for a little while, but this last weekend kind of took it.
BE: Since you fill up with three sports, what do you do during the summers?
SD: I've worked at Camp Dudley, and attended it since I was 10 years old. I'm now one of the leaders, in charge of a group of 10-12 year old boys. It's a lot of fun.
BE: How was it hitting hook shots at the Hall of Fame during the Western Mass. All-Star Game?
SD: That was a really cool little court, and playing with some of the best guys in the area that I hadn't necessarily played with before. It was a good time. I was just kind of going into the lane and throwing up some shots. They started to go in, so took a few more. Things were falling.
BE: As a kid, who's jersey was in your closet?
SD: Definitely collected a lot of random soccer jerseys that I thought were cool. But definitely the Boston greats. David Ortiz, Paul Pierce, all those guys. Some of top Premiere League players, too.
BE: Who's your team over there?
SD: I've been really into Stoke City, one of the less popular teams. It's a great name, but they're really struggling this year and might get relegated. Hoping for the best. Might have to find a new one if that happens.
BE: What do you splurge on?
SD: I'd have to say something food related. I like going out and getting a good burger. Purple Pub in Williamstown is good. There's a few good spots around.
BE: Last question, and it's a big one. What do you do to fix Team USA men's soccer?
SD: Oof. That's a good question. It was really disappointing that they couldn't at least qualify for the World Cup. At least get the team there. I think we need to have a little more creativity up front. We have good goalkeepers and defenders, but when it comes to attacking players, there aren't as many standing out. The team is more possession-based, which doesn't really translate.
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