Sackville's Dylan Estabrooks ready to tackle university level football

Published on February 9, 2017

Dylan Estabrooks (right), shown during his time with the Tantramar Regional High School football Titans, recently played for the Canadian U18 team at the North American championship in Orlando, Florida.


SACKVILLE, N.B. – He is barely 18 but treats the weight room like his second home and tosses around the heavy weights with ease as he prepares to make the huge jump from high school to competing with the big boys at the university level.

So don’t forget the name – Dylan Estabrooks – and look for him to make his mark with the Mount Allison Mounties over the coming four or five seasons as he takes his huge frame – 6’4” and 315 pounds – to fill a big space in the offensive line.

But even he isn’t counting on cracking the starting lineup soon as the Mounties boast several 300-pounders, including 330 pound Brock O’Brien.

Mountie coach Scott Brady sees Estabrooks becoming an even bigger body and a young man with the potential of becoming an all-star in a couple of years. In the meantime he will be working on adding another 25 pounds of muscle that should meet the expectations of the coach.

They were all huge, many of them as large or larger than me, but it was great and I think I at least held my own. Dylan Estabrooks

Dylan took up the game of football 10 years ago and was immediately captivated by the demands and challenges. Actually, so much so that he never attempted any other game, but he says, “I guess I was just too big and too slow to play basketball or hockey.”

He lined up with the local peewee team, a team that claimed a pair of city championships and advanced to the provincials. After that he simply moved up to the Titans and began to carve out a four-year career highlighted by back-to-back provincial championships.

Recognized early by coaches across the conference as a dominating force, they often double teamed, but Dylan soon learned how to cope with this and gives a great deal of credit to Joe Lafford who coached him for more than four seasons. He says coach O’Neal has done much in his development as both player and man, while Mountie coach Gaetan Richard has taught him some fundamentals.

And last year he was invited to play for Team New Brunswick in the Canada Cup and was a natural to be selected for the Canadian U18 squad that recently competed for the North American championship in Orlando, Florida.

Asked how he felt he performed, the young Sackville blocker said he learned a good deal playing against those who will be competing at the NCAA level this fall.

His coaches were so impressed he started and played every down but it was the toughest test of his career.

“They were all huge, many of them as large or larger than me,” he said recently, “but it was great and I think I at least held my own.”

Former football Titan Dylan Estabrooks will suit up in garnet and gold in the upcoming season as a member of the football Mounties.

Dylan believes he may have some advantage as he moves across town since the Titans have been using similar schemes to the Mounties and some of the Mountie coaches have helped him progress. Also, the fact he has grown up in Sackville and followed the Mounties is a bonus.

When asked to say which of the two Tantramar teams – 2015 or 2016 – was better, he said even though there had been personnel changes the two were almost identical in that the players bonded quickly and received the same high quality coaching each year.

Dylan was recruited by no fewer than a dozen football teams from across Canada, but he says the only option he considered was St. F. X. but there was just too much pull to stay with the Mounties.

It’s expected he will move on campus and no doubt will take full advantage of the meal plan in order to maintain his physique.

Here is a young man who combines brains and brawn. He maintains an academic average in the mid-80s and obviously has found the secret of balancing his time.

Moving to the campus will be like “old home week” since he will be joining former teammate Ross McCormack along with three other Titans as well as another Dylan – Cormier. This will provide a Titan talent pool of a half dozen, matching the same number as appeared in the 1984 Mountie lineup that advanced to the Vanier.

While in Orlando the players worked out under some of the top coaches in Canada and Dylan says he absorbed a lot, especially with hand and foot use, which should be beneficial as he attempts to take the next step.

Those who had the opportunity to watch Dylan Estabrooks move opposing defenses around last season will be rooting for him to make the next step successfully. If all goes well there is a strong possibility the Mounties could have two ex-Titans along their huge offensive line.

Certainly the success of the Titans has been widely recognized and it is apparent the Mounties are able to capitalize. One result should be even more Sackville area fans turning out to follow their friends perform on Alumni Field.