By Sheri Duff
Dylan Ireland is a leader. The words spoken by Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head baseball coach Tim Albertson were actually, “Dylan is a great leader. He is quiet and leads by example, the way it’s supposed to be.”
The oldest of three children, Ireland was born on Jan. 3, 1995. Raised in Shelburne, his family includes parents, Kim and Scott, younger brother, Shea, a CVU sophomore, 13-year-old sister Sophie, a seventh grader at the Shelburne Community School (SCS), and a golden retriever named Molly.
Ireland’s first foray into baseball began with Little League. “I was nine years old when I started baseball through the Rec Department,” Ireland stated. “I also played middle school baseball for SCS and Babe Ruth in the summer until I made the varsity team at CVU.”
A four-year varsity player and senior tri-captain, Ireland doesn’t mince words when asked about his greatest strength. “It’s my work ethic. I like to show the younger guys how it’s done.” Coach Albertson agrees. “Dylan is such a hard worker. He knows the game of baseball. He is the first one on the field and the last to leave; there is no quit in Dylan.” Coach Albertson adds, “Even when Dylan’s not pitching, we always get him in the game, some way, somehow. He can play DH or first base. He is a key part of our team.”
It’s probably not luck that contributes to the Redhawk’s successes. And it’s not Ireland’s pre-game ritual, particularly because he doesn’t have one that has CVU in second place in the Division I standings. It’s more likely his preparation and dedication to the sport that has helped the team reach its 10-3 record with three games to go before playoffs.
When asked about his greatest achievement Ireland’s answer is at the ready. “My proudest moment is winning the state championship in baseball last year. To play at Centennial Field in front of that huge crowd was very exciting.”
In addition to baseball, Ireland has been gainfully employed at SD Ireland since age 12. “I’ve done a little of everything over the years,” Ireland stated. “Right now I work on a commercial form working crew.” Prepared to join the family’s concrete construction company full-time after high school, Ireland pokes fun at himself, “I hope to take the weekend off after graduation and then start work on Monday.”
Ireland has plans — smart, practical plans. “I will live at home and save money. From there who knows…” If past experience is an indication of future performance, there’s not much doubt that Ireland will make the most of his opportunities.