PEMBROKE — Leading into high school football practice starting on July 30, The Robesonian’s sports staff is publishing a countdown of the top 15 players in Robeson County, and Purnell Swett’s Dylan Lowry comes in at No. 7 on the list.
Lowry is heading into his senior season as a leader for a team that lost many of its starters from last season.
“We need a lot of work,” Lowry said. “I was all-conference last year, but I felt like I could have done a lot better.”
The linebacker posted a team-high 94 tackles last season. He also had one interception and forced a fumble.
Without experienced defenders like Kalan Locklear, who graduated after leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss last season, Lowry’s role will be more significant this year.
“I expect him to do what he’s supposed to,” head coach Jon Sherman said. “He’s got to be our leader on defense. He is the guy who’s going to control what we do, put us in the right formation sets and make sure our coverages are correct. I expect him to pretty much dictate our defense.”
Sherman said Lowry is adapting to his new leadership role.
“He’s slowly starting to do that because I’ve told him that it’s his team,” Sherman said. “He’s starting to see that and realize that.”
“Since I’ve been on varsity for three years and I’ve had the experience and I’ve went through the work that some of these boys haven’t, I know what it takes,” Lowry said. “I push them to try to be better than what I am.”
One of the biggest adjustments for Lowry has been learning to play without last year’s senior class.
“The boys that left last year, I’ve been paying with them since middle school,” Lowry said. “There’s a lot of new boys, so I’m trying to help them because I know the defense everywhere. I try to help on offense with what I know.”
Coming off of a 5-7 season that ended in the first round of the playoffs, Lowry thinks his team can put itself in position for a postseason run.
“My goal is to have a winning season and make it to the playoffs,” Lowry said.