The Swensons are a first-rate athletic family.
Senior defensive back Ian Swenson (pictured) is the last of the three children to play — and star — at sports at Loyola.
Evan Swenson, the oldest sibling, swam and played water polo. She was a state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke as a senior in 2012 before taking her talents to University of Southern California. Christian Swenson ran cross country and track for the Ramblers and now does the same at Tufts University.
There was some crossover in sports among the siblings until high school when they all went their separate ways.
“We all used to run and swim, but none of us wanted to play the same sport once we got to Loyola,” Ian said. “We all wanted to do our own things.”
Ian, who also plays lacrosse, has been on the varsity football team since his sophomore season. He started at cornerback last year during the Ramblers’ run to a Class 8A state championship. This season, he’s played both cornerback and safety.
“He’s probably best at cornerback because that’s where he’s had the most practice,” Loyola head coach John Holecek said. “But we are going to put him in a position that gives us the best possible matchups for that game.”
Swenson said he’s comfortable playing anywhere in the secondary and is willing to do whatever is best for the team. He was at cornerback in Weeks 1 and 3 and played safety in Week 2 against Maine South. He has 17 tackles, two interceptions and one pass breakup in three games.
“I’ve been on varsity for three years, so I know pretty much what everybody is supposed to be doing defensively,” he said. “I will play anywhere depending on our needs.”
After high school, Ian will join Evan and Christian as a college athlete. Ian committed to University of Connecticut on July 22. Holecek said the 6-foot-2, 187-pounder has the physical tools to play at that level.
“He’s long, he can run and cover a lot of ground,” Holecek said. “He’s bringing more force these days.”
Swenson’s also branching out to become the leader of the secondary. It was a role held by Bobby Desherow and Sam Taylor last season, and it’s a job Swenson takes seriously.
“I’ve tried to be an example for the younger guys, to try and make them better and make sure they are leaders for next year,” Swenson said.
Junior Charlie Largay, who’s started in the secondary since Week 1, said Swenson has been a big help to him this season. When Largay got the nod to start at cornerback in the season opener, he said Swenson offered words of encouragement.
“I remember when Ryan [Lin-Peistrup] got hurt this summer Ian came up and said it’s, ‘You and me,’” Largay said. “He made me feel like I was ready, but he let me know I needed to work hard.”
That’s how Swenson said he feels about being the youngest of three athletic siblings.
“They set high standards for themselves, and I’ve learned to live up to those,” he said. “I’ve learned how to compete from them.”
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola