NEWBURYPORT – If you followed the Newburyport football season at all this past season, you will know the name Dillon Guthro. Dedication to off-season training regimens have and promise to pay off for the senior who now turns his sights to the hardwood.
Guthro worked diligently over this past summer to ready himself for football. Along with working out in the weight room three mornings a week with his team, he also attended Jason Beauparlant’s Peak Performance Camp. According to its website, the camp’s focus is to “provide student athletes with a positive training experience by utilizing the most up to date, scientifically proven training methods.”
“We did a lot of speed and agility type training,” Guthro said. “We pulled tires, pushed weight sleds, jumped over hurdles and did sprints at the end of every session.”
A diligent approach to training led Guthro to a strong senior season on the football field that concluded with a Thanksgiving Day defensive performance that was instrumental in his team’s win over Amesbury. Two timely interceptions with Amesbury marching into scoring territory helped Newburyport retain the football and kill the clock in a game where time of possession was critical.
The nostalgia of a monster defensive performance against his team’s rival was unable to last, for Guthro hung up his cleats and immediately picked up a basketball.
“I wish I had a little extra time to rest, but I love the competitiveness of playing sports,” Guthro said. “I think it helps all of us who played fall sports because we are in game shape and ready to go.”
Because of a late Thanksgiving, the off-season separating the end of fall sports and the beginning of winter sports is minimized, leaving team’s to condition, train and ready its players for a game atmosphere.
“I think we want the kids to compete multiple sports because they will be in decent shape,” said Newburyport basketball coach Tom L’Italien. “I think all the kids take time to find their basketball legs, though, which isn’t something that usually comes Christmas break.”
With the first basketball game of the season already rapidly approaching on Friday night, coaches may be looking to condition players at a faster rate, spending more time working out and less time on specific game situations.
“We run, and we run a lot,” Guthro said. “We run as much as we can. We don’t have the biggest team, but we are very athletic. We want to be in good condition late in games so we can wear teams down.”
A Cape Ann League All-Star in 2012, Guthro knows that his role will be altered this season with more dependence on gathering rebounds and providing an inside presence.
“Last year (Guthro) played a big role for us,” L’Italien said. “Going into this year as a three-year varsity player, he understands what the expectations are and what has to be done on a daily basis. As a senior captain, it will be easier for him to provide leadership. Basketball wise, he gives us a presence on the inside. He’s a great rebounder.”
Guthro will look to fill the shoes of Colton Fontaine, whose ability to come down with rebounds earned him All-Star honors in his senior year last season.
“Colt had a ton of rebounds for us,” Guthro said. “I think that’s one of the roles I’ll have to fill. Everyone on the team is going to have to step up and have a bigger role.”
Filling big shoes is something that will be necessary on the entire Newburyport squad. In fact, L’Italien even has freshman Ronnie Mwai competing for a varsity letter.
“We are looking to put the best players on the court that will help us compete game to game and into the season,” L’Italien said. “We have 14 kids practicing who all have the opportunity to get onto the court. Ronnie has been impressive. He has some basketball habits to break but athletically and IQ wise, he has had a good first few days.”
The Clippers know that they will need all the help they can get to compete within an always tough Cape Ann League. When asked who Newburyport is looking out for this season within the league, Guthro gave it very little thought.
“Triton,” he said. “We always look forward to the Triton and Amesbury games, and I think those teams enjoy playing us as well. I think Newburyport is a rival of many teams.”