Dubyoski gets his kicks on Loyola's football, soccer teams

Junior is star striker and kicker for the Dons

  • Jamie Dubyoski is a standout soccer player for Loyola and the starting kicker for the Dons' football team.
Jamie Dubyoski is a standout soccer player for Loyola and the… (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina…)
September 21, 2010|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

Growing bored with kickball in gym class back in fourth grade, Jamie Dubyoski set his sights on an added challenge.

So instead of just clobbering the ball off the gym's back wall and racing around the bases for yet another home run, he looked up at the basketball hoop at the same far end.

Dubyoski had a strong right leg, but what about good aim?

"Yeah," he said with a smile. "I hit the backboard a few times over the years."

Now a junior at Loyola Blakefield, Dubyoski is putting his right leg and much more to good use in a couple ways.

On the soccer field, the 17-year-old striker has shown a knack for finding the back of the net as the No. 3 Dons' leading scorer this season. And when he's not scoring big goals, he's splitting the uprights and booming kickoffs as the place kicker for the school's football team.

"It can get really busy, hard sometimes and I don't do much anything else [during the fall season], but it's all worth it," said Dubyoski, who maintains a 3.9 grade-point average.

His two coaches agree.

Soccer coach Lee Tschantret describes Dubyoski as a pure goal scorer and complete soccer player. Football coach Brian Abbott says Dubyoski is "truly a weapon" with his pinpoint accuracy on extra points and field goals, and his ability to get the ball deep on kickoffs.

In the soccer team's 2-3 start, Dubyoski has accounted for four goals — including the game winner in the Dons' 2-1 win over then-No. 1 Mount St. Joseph last week — and five assists. In his first season handling extra points and field goals on the gridiron — his first two years he just had kickoff duty — he's a perfect 15-for-15 on PATs and made good on his only field goal try from 22 yards. He also consistently drives kickoffs inside the 5-yard line, with nearly half going into the end zone for touchbacks.

Soccer, which he has played since he was 4 years old, is Dubyoski's passion. Kicking for the football team has proved to be a fun and unique challenge.

"I don't get nervous when I'm playing soccer because I've been doing it for so long. But when I'm kicking a football, I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I better make it. Now, it's come to a point where I'm like: 'Alright, I'm hitting this through' and not 'I hope I hit this through.' You have to be confident," said Dubyoski, who plans to play soccer in college.

Confidence has never been lacking while playing soccer. The second-to-youngest of six siblings — the family has three boys and three girls that all play soccer — Dubyoski has been around the game for as long as he can remember. It's always been a natural fit.

"When he was little, he was dragged along to every soccer game. He would watch closely, then took what he saw and went out in the backyard and just practiced and practiced," said his mother, Mary.

These days, it shows.

After contributing five goals and six assists in his first varsity season last year, he's grown into a team leader with a tireless work ethic and impressive skills.

Proof came in last Thursday's win over reigning Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion Mount St. Joseph. In steady rain before a rowdy home crowd, the Dons were already leading, 1-0, late in the first half when Dubyoski made a strong run to the ball down the right side and then one-timed a hard, low shot from 14 yards that neatly ended up inside the far post.

"He's not a rah-rah guy — he just gets the job done. And if you're on his team, you're looking at the leading scorer back from last year, one of the team's best players who's also your hardest working player. That really means a lot," Tschantret said.

Appreciative teammates have taken notice.

"He's always aggressive," fellow junior Mike Distler said. "He plays in practice how he plays in games — always the first one to the ball. By just having him out there playing so hard, it gets everybody fired up and wanting to play that hard, too."

Strong-footed soccer players also taking care of the kicking chores for the football team is nothing new at Loyola. Dubyoski is the latest among a long and successful list that includes current Wake Forest goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, a 2006 grad who was the Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year in boys soccer his senior year.

This year, Dubyoski has no conflicts in the teams' schedules with the soccer team playing its games on Tuesday and Thursday, while football takes place on Friday and Saturday. His weekly routine is always mapped out — soccer practice comes first and then he catches up with the football team for the last part of practice a couple of the days to go over coverages and timing on kicks.

Dubyoski provides the Dons (1-2) with a luxury few high school football teams have. His deep kickoffs help the team win the field-position battle and he's been flawless on extra points and field goals. Abbott said he would feel comfortable sending Dubyoski out for a 45-yard field goal if called upon.

"He's phenomenal in what he does," Abbott said. "He manages everything very well and he's such a perfectionist, I don't even have to worry about it. I have the utmost faith in him."


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