Harrison Trimble Trojan DT Houlihan thought he was too small to play

#66 Dylan Houlihan

Dylan Houlihan didn’t try out for the Harrison Trimble Trojans until grade 11. Like many would-be players, Dylan had reservations about his size, and so remained interested in football from afar.

In the summer before grade 11 his friends, who saw his potential, launched a campaign to get him to play. “My friends encouraged me to try out, I never thought I was big, or strong or quick enough to play,” he explained.

With his friend’s persistent, yet positive, peer pressure, Dylan took the plunge and suited up that September, taking his first rep as a Trojan. At 5’9 and 185 Dylan entered camp stating his intent to try out as a linebacker. His coaches assessed the rookie, but thought him better suited on the defensive line. He made the team starting his rookie season as a defensive tackle.

He quickly fell for the sport and took every opportunity to improve, taking each practice rep seriously. Starting all season Dylan gained valuable reps in game situations, also helping him develop.

By his second and senior season, Dylan was playing with more confidence, and ended his season with 4 sacks and 1 interception. He felt his first year he had spent over thinking the game, but this year he let his training, and instincts take over. “I just stopped thinking about it and played, which gave me a big spike in my game,” he said.

Dylan plays the position fast and aggressive. His smaller stature on the line and his quick feet made him a unique blocking assignment for opposing linemen. His favourite shedding technique was the swim move, using it often to penetrate offensive backfields.

As an interior lineman Dylan excelled at hassling QB’s, but understood and executed his duties as a run stopper. “It’s fun being the first guy to get to the QB, but stuffing the run, and clogging gaps and stuffing the run is a lot of fun too,” states Dylan.

His favorite game this year was when the Trojans snapped a seven year losing streak to their rival, Moncton High Purple Knights, on the Knights field.

“Finally beating Moncton was a huge part of our season. I remember the final whistle going, and then just jumping into my teammates arms! Our fans rushed the field and celebrated with us. It was a big day for our school,” reminisces Dylan.

Dylan wasn’t recruited by any post secondary programs, and is fine with this lack of attention as he plans on attending Memorial University in Newfoundland, which does not have a program. Aside from that, he still doesn’t feel he is big enough to play.

He leaves his time playing as a Trojan with fond memories and life lessons which he will carry with him.

“Football taught me that you have to work together as a team. Everyone has to do their job and their roles, and everyone has to do the right thing, at the right time to be successful. I’ll for sure take into the work force with me.”

Dylan Houlihan
Defensive tackle
5’9, 180lbs

Team(s): Harrison Trimble Trojans
Official Visits: none
Unofficial Visits: none
Consideration: Memorial University, open
Commitment: Memorial University
Class: 2017

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