Where There Is A Dyl, There Is A Way
What do you get when you combine the fancy footwork and agility of a running back with the powerful passing precision of a quarterback? A dynamic All-American football player who delivers standout performances in every game!
Dylan “The Real Dyl” James transferred to Eaglecrest High School for the 2018-2019 season, and quickly became the quarterback to watch, leading the team to the quarter-final game of the playoffs before ending the season with an impressive overall record of 10-2.
James is a native of Colorado. He was raised in Denver with his brother Tyrell, and started playing football when he was just 5-years old. His mother, Misty Bell, remembers watching James play in the early days, “He has always loved the game,” she says, “The first time I saw him get tackled I thought he was going to be hurt, but his response was, ‘I need to work on my tackling.’ Imagine, hearing that from a 6-year old!”
James started his high school career as a freshman on the varsity team. During his sophomore year, when the varsity team was full of upperclassmen, James moved himself down to junior varsity to get more time on the field. After 12 years of perfecting his skills, the energetic high school phenom adds excitement to the game he loves. Bell, is an avid supporter of her son, and loves to watch him play. “It’s really funny. A lot of people, even opposing coaches, say that he is a lot of fun to watch,” she boasts.
It may be fun for audiences, but to his opponents, the 5-foot 8-inch, 165-pound 17-year old is an intimidating presence on the field. “They’re scared to play against him,” laughs Bell, “He is scary to play against, but he is a lot of fun to watch!”
In the summer before his junior year, James traveled with his family, attending football camps and gaining exposure in front of an audience of top college coaches. “We expected him to have a great season his junior year; we planned to send his film to colleges to be considered for scholarships,” says Bell; but after only four games, James suffered a painful shoulder separation that ended his 2017-2018 season. “The big year he was supposed to have ended up being heartbreaking. He had a plan in place, but it fell apart.”
James worked hard to recover from the injury, refusing to let it hold him back. “During the injury, I thought a lot. I thought, how can I bounce back stronger from all of this. When we had our first scrimmage, I was a little worried about getting hurt again, but I just had to play and be confident.”
His confidence paid off, with epic playmaking that earned him a spot in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, in December, held in Dallas, Texas.
The Eaglecrest Raptors were undefeated in one of the biggest rivalry games of James’ high school career. They made their first encounter with the Grandview Wolves on Sept. 28 and found themselves struggling when the Wolves made a fast start. By halftime, the Wolves were ahead 35-21, but having a quarterback with the skill set of a running back paid off for the Raptors when James made his third rushing touchdown of the night, cutting the lead to 35-28.
With seconds left in the game, the Raptors were facing 4th and 15 at midfield. James launched a beautiful bullet that sailed through the air and into the hands of wide receiver Ty Robinson. The play resulted in a spectacular touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion and a monumental win.
James recalled the play with Colorado High School Activities Association’s NOW publication, saying “It was hanging up there for a little bit, but I knew he was going to catch the ball and he came down with it. It was amazing.” After the win, James gave fans a glimpse into what made the 2018-2019 Raptors so strong, telling 9News, “We just got to push through adversity, and that’s what we did. When we work as a team, we’re a good ball team.”
James’ leadership and amazing performances week after week helped the Raptors reach the Colorado 5A playoffs, but they were defeated by the rival Wolves when the teams faced each other again during the quarter-final tournament on Nov. 17. The Raptors ended their season with an overall state ranking of no. 8, and James finished his high school career
as the top-5 football player in the state with over 2,000 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns, making way for an elite opportunity for him to showcase his talents.
James attributes the success of this season to his coach and teammates. “Coach Looney has been a great football mentor to me and he truly believes in me,” he says. “A huge shout out to my teammates for welcoming me to the team and trusting me to lead them through a great season.”
James was selected to the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl this year, after participating in the Blue-Grey All-American Combine throughout his high school career. On Dec. 17, he will be in the spotlight, playing his heart out in celebration of all that he has accomplished. “I’m very excited about that,” he said, “I’ve been doing the Blue and Grey event since sophomore year. This is the first time I’ve made it this far. I can’t wait for the experience!”
James will add this badge of honor to an extensive list of academic and athletic achievements as he looks forward to playing football at the next level. He hopes to receive a footballscholarship, and has interest in several colleges – one where he plans to study sports therapy or sports management. With months left before graduation, James is working hard every day to reach his goals.
James’ family is excited to see him play for some of football’s top recruiters, and they are raising money to help cover travel and game expenses. If you would like to support “The Real Dyl,” on his journey to Dallas, you can make a donation at https://bit.ly/2S448yg. For more information, call 303-292-6446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.