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Dyer sparks Tomahawks

MERRIMACK – Jared Dyer is already spending his athletic inheritance, and spending it wisely.

You see, the Merrimack High School football standout ironically comes from a family with a rich Nashua football history.

His father, Jeff, was a Nashua standout in the mid 1980s, and his uncle, Jason, soon after. And his grandfather, Dick Dyer, is a former Nashua standout quarterback from the 1960s and was also a Nashua assistant coach, and has worked with other programs in the area as well. Jared Dyer’s football roots run deep.

But, the 6-4, 250-pound athletic specimen, as a senior, is considered one of the best football players in the state as a tight end/defensive end.

Merrimack coach Kip Jackson, a former Nashua South assistant, has known the Dyer family for a number of years, often playing racquetball with Jared’s dad and grandparents.

He’s not surprised how Jared has turned out.

“He’s been a coach’s dream,” Jackson said of Jared. “Just a great kid, a great teammate, and he’s going to be an awesome man when he gets older. And I know that’s the most important thing to his

family.

“He’s extremely competitive too, and I’d like to think that some of that is from the gene pool. He lives up to (the family history) and exceeds it. You talk to his parents or his grandparents, they would be happy with the kind of person he is. Just a great kid.”

A great kid who has made sure to use his family as a great football resource, especially his grandfather.

“He coached me when I was younger,” Dyer said of Dick Dyer. “Obviously he coached my Dad and my uncle. He knows so much about the game. He always tells me to keep playing hard, no matter what, it’s really great.

“He taught me to play more aggressive when I was about eight or nine, taught me not to fear hitting anymore. That was a key thing.”

Not surprisingly, Dyer has been playing football since he was 5,.

“It was my favorite sport growing up, and it’s still my favorite sport,” Dyer said.

He’s a well-rounded athlete. He plays basketball, and also competes in track in throwing events plus the high jump.

And as far as football is concerned, he can be a defensive end. He can be a linebacker. He can be a tight end. A running back. A slot receiver. And he can even throw the ball effectively.

“I’ve played a lot of different positions growing up,” Dyer said, “and I think that’s helped me become a better athlete, because you get used to doing different things instead of just one thing at a time.”

What’s his favorite?

“I kind of like where I’m at now,” Dyer said, referring to his role as a tight end/defensive end. “I’ve been here long enough, I get used to the systems, I know what they’re trying to get me to do, and I can do that pretty well.”

Jackson said moving Dyer around is part of the Tomahawks’ plan.

“I think it’s the best thing for us,” he said, “just because he’s such a dominant presence on both sides of the ball.Him having the ability to handle those roles causes a problem for the teams that have to game plan for us.

“If he’s always on the left as a defensive end, they know where he’s going to be the entire time and came game plan for that. So we try to move him around a little bit. If I was game planning for us I would not try to run at him.”

Jackson said that Dyer’s athletic intelligence helps set him apart.

“He’s a really, really smart kid in terms of understanding I think pretty much any sport and how to make your teammates successful,” Jackson said. “He’s not a person that’s only concerned about scoring touchdowns or if he’s playing basketball only concerned about making the basket.

“He’s more concerned about creating an opportunity for his team to be successful and win. That to me is his best attribute; he’s so smart and that combined with the fact he’s a really good athlete makes for a really good kid.”

Colleges are likely salivating over him, but where to play him? Some see a player they can make heavier than his 245 pounds and put him in the trenches, but he doesn’t want to get too big. “I think I’d prefer not to be close to 300 pounds if that’s possible; if I can avoid that, that’d be nice.”

Dyer was grinning when he said that, but he knows his versatility is drawing different reactions.

“Some programs try to do different things,” Dyer said. “I’ve talked to certain programs about playing tight end there, because the way that my body shape is, it fits their program. Other programs, some say I’m too big or not fast enough to play tight end for them but maybe a defensive lineman for them.”

All that football background has to help Dyer.

“It’s like pressure, but not pressure,” he said. “(His family’s) expecting more out of me, but it’s kind of like a challenge and you have to live up to it. That’s a good thing.”

UNH, Holy Cross, Central Connecticut are said to be among the many schools that are interested. He was invited to a lot of college camps over the summer “but I couldn’t go to them all, you get camped out. I don’t want to go too far away; I want to stay within three or four hours.”

“Unfortunately or fortunately for Jared, I think they see his frame and see somebody who can play multiple positions, which is an asset,” Jackson said. “Not only is he large right now but he has the potential to put on more weight, strength and size.

“In addition to being a very good athlete, he’s one of the many kids we’ve had that are really good football players that are three sports athletes, which is what we try to preach.

“He’s living proof that a kid who is playing multiple sports can excel in multiple sports as well.”

Dyer wants to be a physical education/health teacher/coach in his career life, from the middle school level and up. Those who know him say he’d be a good one.

“I’d like to coach,” he said. “I think I’d like to coach all seasons.”

“He’s very good with kids,” Jackson said. “It’s something he’s always wanted to do. When we do community service at some of the elementary schools, the kids gravitate toward him. He just has that personality, in spite of his size. For some kids it’s a little intimidating, but they can sense he’s a good dude, good person.”

Dyer, who says the Tomahawks’ playoff win over North in the Student Memorial Field mud last November is perhaps his favorite football moment because it was huge for the program, certainly feels he hasn’t become successful on his own.

“I’ve had a lot of great help,” he said. “Especially from Kip, (defensive coordinator Brandon) Lilley, all our great coaches. I’ve had some friends who have helped me. They get me in the weight room, I get them in the weight room. It’s just a brotherhood, getting each other to the next level.”

What’s it like being the biggest kid in the group?

“It’s kind of nice,” Dyer said. “People kind of figuratively and literally look up to you. Again, it’s one of those pressure things, but you like to live up to it and like to be a leader.”

Jared Dyer has lived up to a lot already, especially his family name.

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