DAMASCUS, Md. (DC News Now) — Dillon Dunathan spends his Sundays in the fall making ice cream at the famous ice cream store Jimmie Cone in Damascus, Maryland.
“The whole community is really what Damascus is,” Dunathan says while filling a cone with soft serve vanilla ice cream, before dipping it in the store’s signature rainbow jimmies, also known as sprinkles.”
A senior at Damascus high school and star running back and linebacker on the Swarmin’ Hornets football team, Dunathan spends the rest of his week focusing on school and football.
“Watching him and the pride that I have watching him play, it’s the best thing,” Dunathan’s father Denis Dunathan told DC News Now. “It’s just fun to watch Dillon and all his friends have the success that they’re having. And they love it. They love this game, and that’s why they’re as good as they are.”
Dunathan has been waiting for this for a decade. He started playing for Damascus Cougars youth football program when he was seven-years-old.
“From Cougars, you dream about playing high school football for the school,” Dunathan said.
Dunathan looked up to former Damascus running back Jake Funk, now with the Los Angeles Rams. When he was a freshman at Damascus, part of the school’s 11th-all-time state championship, Clemson standouts Bryan Bresee and Ryan Linthicum were senior leaders and stars on the team.
Now, Dunathan is a senior, and has helped the Swarmin’ Hornets to a 3-0 start to the 2022 season, the program’s first time starting 3-0, since 2018.
“All the kids that are watching would one day like whether it’s [Dunathan’s] number two or whatever other Damascus Jersey they’re wearing,” Damascus football head coach Josh Klotz said. “Can’t wait till they’re on the field. You know, hopefully doing some of the great things that Dylan does.”
While Dunathan, hopes to help deliver a 12th Damascus football state championship to the community, right now, he’s focused on one game and one play at a time.
“I’m just looking at my line, see how they block and looking for gaps and just to hit them north south and just with as much power as I can,” Dunathan said. “You know, just run through someone you know they’re not gonna want to tackle me again and again and again every play.”
Dunathan is soaking in every moment of his senior year.
“I don’t even really remember anything without Damascus and these people and the community around me,” Dunathan said.
Dunathan is representing his community on the football field and behind the counter at Jimmie Cone.
“Dillon is your typical Damascus football player. You know, grew up here, played Cougars, works at Jimmie Cone,” Klotz said. “Yeah, you don’t get much more Damascus than that.”