A two-sport gunslinger

Whether it be the office, the dance floor, or anywhere, some people just like being behind the scenes.

But not 15-year-old Jack Spear, Swampscott’s starting quarterback and closer on the baseball team.

“I’ve been playing sports for so long that I’m used to such high-pressure situations,” he said. “I just go out there and play.”

The sophomore right-hander is being modest. He doesn’t just play. He excels.

“He’s working really, really hard, and he’s a student of the game,” said Swampscott football coach and Hall of Famer Peter Bush. “He understands coverages, he understands leverage, and he’s a smart kid.”

Among other opponents, Spear has sliced both Saugus (14-for-22, 214 yards, 3 TDs) and Northeast Metro (144 yards, 2 TDs) this fall.

“Those were both very fun games,” he said.

As for his other job – the one played on the diamond – Spear can still break down his 9-4 win against Danvers (6 2/3 innings, 7 Ks) from earlier this spring.

“He pitched for the varsity baseball team last year,” Bush said. “He was given the ball at 14-15 years old on the mound.”

Rising above the moment didn’t come overnight for Spear, who admitted that jogging onto Blocksidge Field “was scary at first.”

“I would say, last year, it got to me a lot as a freshman,” he said. “But, I think I’ve changed and handled it pretty well.”

Now, he embraces the scenery.

“I have a lot of pride, just putting on the jersey and heading out there. You’re really the head of the team,” Spear said. “The student section is very good and a great tradition for home games. Football has been in Swampscott for so long. It feels good to have everyone behind my back.”

His goals are to win state championships in both sports, and – speaking like a proud member of the Big Blue – to take down Marblehead in a Thanksgiving game.

“Last year, when I scored a touchdown against Marblehead in the Thanksgiving game, that was one of my favorite moments,” Spear said.

As for how he’ll accomplish those goals, Spear believes each sport helps the other.

“It’s a two-way street. When you throw a football, you throw it like a change-up,” he said.

When asked who his favorite receivers are, he settled with, “Really, anyone. Anyone who can catch the ball.” Oh, and superstitions aren’t his thing.

“No,” Spear said. “None at all.”

Superstitions or not, it looks like Swampscott High has found its gunslinger.

“He’s a sophomore and has been thrown into the fire,” Bush said. “He’s been great.”