Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of profiles of local athletes.
Dan Burrows is a jack of all trades for Haverhill High sports.
But he defies the old saying "jack of all trades, master of none.''
During the fall, he's a starting offensive lineman for the resurgent football team. In the winter, Burrows throws the shot put for long distances. In the spring he's an ace on the mound for the Hillies baseball team.
Of all three sports, the one that he enjoys the most is football.
"I've always liked football ever since I was a little kid," Burrows said. "I always dreamed of just going to Haverhill High and playing football."
His passion and leadership on the gridiron was a factor in him being voted one of the three 2012 captains by his teammates. Burrows was a versatile player a year ago, filling in at defensive line when the team was without starters Sean Cronin and Aaron Moisan. He was also noticed by his opponents. He was one of only two Haverhill football players (the other was Chance Brady) to be named a Merrimack Valley Conference All-Conference player.
The 6 foot-4 inch junior is Haverhill's best shot putter, losing only once to Lowell. Although he lost that meet, Burrows did set a personal record with a throw of more than 48 feet. He hopes to be able to throw more than 50 feet by the end of the season.
"I think I have a shot of doing that," he said. "I definitely want to try to win the MVC meet as well. I've done well in those meets so I think I've got a shot of doing that."
At the urging of his friends and fellow offensive linemen, Burrows decided to try shot putting his freshman year, after an unsuccessful foray into basketball. He immediately found he was a natural at the sport. During meets, he is able to use his big frame to gain as much of an advantage as possible.
"It helps me get across the circle easier," said Burrows. "When you do the glide, having longer legs definitely helps. I also release the shot a lot higher, which makes it go further."
The Gazette sat down with Burrows to talk about life on and off the field.
What are the differences between track coach Mike Maguire and football coach Tim O'Connor?
They are both great coaches. They're more similar than they are different. They just want us to work as hard as we can and do our best.
What were your thoughts when you were named a football co-captain?
Since middle school, all I wanted to do was play football at Haverhill. Ever since freshman year, everyone told me that they thought I would probably be captain. When we were voting for captains, a lot of my teammates told me that they voted for me, so I wasn't very surprised when I was named captain for next year. It's an awesome feeling and something that I am proud to be.
How does track compare as a team sport to football and baseball?
Track is a little tougher than the other two. We are tight as a shot put team, but when you do poorly there isn't as much of that support system. When you do well on the football field there are more kids to lean on. When you don't do something particularly well, there is always someone you can ask for help, whereas in track it's pretty much all you.
You are winless as a track team this year. Do you use any experiences that you have had in football (32-game Hillie losing streak that was broken last season) to help with a losing streak in track?
We know that anything can happen and that we are a good team, no matter what the record is. It's tough to not win for a while. Every time you're out there, there is always a chance to win.
Who is your inspiration?
My dad got me into football. He used to take me to Patriots games when I was a kid. I looked up to Kyle Sullivan and Ben Tufts who were seniors on the football team when I was a freshman. Last year, I looked up to Brett Pettis and Mac Milewski. I wanted to be a captain like they were. This year the captains were so great, too.
Have you started thinking about college?
Boston College is my top choice. But I'll probably end up going wherever the money and academics are the best. Hopefully I can play sports wherever I go.
Let's try some favorites. Who's your favorite band/artist?
"Dance" by Big Sean
New England Patriots
Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi
Subject in school?
History. It's really interesting learning about the past. I hope to study that in college.
I like to play Xbox and sports with my friends.
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