EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series of Mount Allison Mountie and Tantramar Titan player profiles that will be published in the coming months.
SACKVILLE, N.B. – He’s a force of nature, an elite graduate of Tantramar Regional High School and a solid student at Mount Allison University.
Yes, Dylan Cormier at six feet tall and a solid 220 pounds is the type of linebacker enemy ball carriers have no desire to come face to face with as he “takes no prisoners”, laying out bone jarring licks on even the biggest running backs in the game.
The former New Brunswick High School Football Conference MVP and all-star earned a starting role at linebacker last season, his second with the Mountie machine, and became a recognized star. And this year, teamed with All-Conference Damian Halstead, provides the Mounties with a more than durable second line of defense.
Dylan Cormier came to the Mounties with an outstanding portfolio. He credits his father Tim with teaching him a great deal about the game of football – and says even today he is his mainstay both on and off the field.
But he also has nothing but praise for his Titan coaches, especially head coach Scott O’Neal and defensive coordinator Peter Estabrooks.
“The Titans have by far the finest team of coaches in the province,” he says, “as they not only bring the best in skill training but also in individual development.”
Dylan quickly points out that having Mountie coaches conduct high school spring camps makes the transition from high school to university much better.
But he notes that the move up a notch in the level of competition is not an easy one. During his rookie year he played mostly on special teams and earned his spot on defense because of his commitment to the game.
Asked if he had any advice for first year university players, he said they should, if they hope to be successful, listen carefully to their coaches as they know what they are doing. This means not only absorbing new theories but working every day to improve techniques.
This echoes somewhat the advice offered by another ex-Titan, Ross McCormack, who said it takes hours of heavy lifting, attention to films and video and constant practice.
Dylan estimates it requires football players to devote well over 30 hours a week just to on-field practice, film study and lectures. This in addition to a good deal more time in travel for away games. Thus, it is vital that players prioritize their time in order to maintain a solid academic standing.
Since so much time each week is committed to the game he suggests they consider taking a lighter work load during the fall semester and then add more courses after Christmas. It is not uncommon for a player to take five years to complete an undergraduate degree.
University Spot allows football players five years of eligibility but it must be used up within seven years of high school graduation.
Back with the Titans Dylan was a true champion. In addition to manning the middle linebacking position for three years he often took on other roles. In the championship final against Riverview in 2015 he was forced to move into the offensive line due to an injury to a regular and also took a few reps at quarterback. He was, along with Aidan O’Neal and a few huge linemen, the catalyst sparking the Titans to victory after victory.
Although a few players left the team following the move of head coach Scott Brady to McMaster, Cormier has confidence in new coach Peter Fraser, who gained the confidence of the team during spring camp in April.
“We (Mounties) should do well this season with an outstanding offense ready to put points on the boards,” he says. “We have an outstanding O line, some great receivers and perhaps the best backfield in the conference. The defense requires some rebuilding building but it looks like we should have the personnel.”
So, the close connection between Tantramar and Mount Allison continues with each contributing significantly to the success of each other. And in this case Dylan Cormier will be doing his fair share.