September 25, 2022
Sports - Kendall County


D'Arcy Motors Athlete of the Week: Dylan Patrick, Newark senior, boys basketball

Why he was selected:

Dylan Patrick averaged 26.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 4.0 assists per game in leading Newark to the championship of the Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament.

Patrick, a returning starter for a Norsemen team that took fourth in Class 1A last year, scored 30 points to top 600 for his career in a 72-43 win over Mendota, had 20 points and eight steals in a 69-36 win over Hall, had 30 points in a 75-74 loss to Reed-Custer and had 24 points in a 56-51 win over Illiana Christian in the championship game.

Record sports editor Joshua Welge spoke to Patrick about his team's start and his expanded role on this year's team. Here is an edited version of the transcript:

Welge: How do you feel about the start to the season?

Patrick: It was a fantastic first week. It's something different this year having the ball in my hands more. We're playing a way more fast-paced game with littler dudes. I think our defense has picked up a lot, forcing turnovers, getting in transition which is awesome.

Welge: You had an interesting situation in the championship game. You had to leave the game with a scratch to your chin with under a minute left, but then returned to hit six straight free throws. What was that last minute like?

Patrick: I was kind of nervous. I really wanted to win that game for the community. I felt like we let a lot of fans down in the last game. I wanted to get back in the game and get the ball in my hands. I felt like I needed to close it out.

Welge: You do seem comfortable with the ball in your hands late, right?

Patrick: Last year we had a lot of great players. [Newark] coach [Rick] Tollefson has talked to be about being a leader. I feel like end of game, older player, I feel like I should have the pressure on me and be able to knock down three throws.

Welge: How are you so good at making free throws in pressure situations (he shot 79 percent as a junior):

Patrick: I've been in some positions like that last year. The biggest thing is getting in the gym and practicing those free throws so when it comes down to that point I can make them.

Welge: You've scored big the first week. Losing three starters, did you have a sense you'd need to be aggressive early in the season:

Patrick: We lost a lot of great pieces. I worked hard in the offseason to work on my shot and driving to the basket. With Brett [Myre) and [Jacob] Slivka and [Corey] Jacobson hitting shots it opens up the lanes for me.

Welge: And you've put in some work with [Ex-Newark star] Kyle Anderson?

Patrick: When I was a freshman we started working out together. I was kind of a late bloomer. He worked on my game and my handles. He's helped so much with my game.

Welge: So where's your state medal?

Patrick: It's hanging up in my room, actually. That's a huge goal for us, is to get back to state.