Cheers to my favorite athlete – Dylan Mellor
Longwood, Fla. – Sunday, April 20, 2003 – It was your normal, typical, everyday Florida-Family-Easter-Sunday-football-game in the front yard. Dodging around pine cones and sandspurs on the ground while tumbling through the grass you had spent four hours the day previous raking, mowing, edging.
The Mellor’s, famous for ‘one-more-throw-dad!’ moments, enjoyed a lazy Sunday of good food and competitive football in the front yard with friends and family alike.
Enter 6-year old Dylan Mellor. The youngest of three brothers, then the second-youngest of eight grandchildren and an avid proponent of the ‘one-more-throw-dad!’ mantra. After many passes, runs, tackles and what felt like hours of ‘one-more-throw-dad!’ in the front yard, it was Dylan’s moment for one last heave from Dad before calling it a night.
Dylan lines up. Dad snaps the ball from our imaginary center. Dad drops back to pass as Dylan runs a post-corner route towards the trees in the front yard. Dad unleashes a high, lofting, spiral of a pass towards the out-of-bounds-tree-line, something that was a Mellor boy favorite. “Get there!” we all yell as Dylan sprints towards the ball, cognizant of where he’s going to plant his feet before the out-of-bounds-line and the ball in the air.
The pass lands perfectly into Dylan’s hands just as he taps his feet down ‘in-bounds’ and just as he looks up to find a face full of pine tree.
Two front teeth smashed into the roof of his mouth later, a bloodied Dylan looks up, ball in hands, and says “I still caught the ball.”
In that moment, I KNEW, my little brother was something special.
Altamonte Springs, Fla. – September 5, 2007 – 10-year old Dylan Mellor begins his second year of tackle football for the Lake Brantley Patriots junior pee-wee team. As a quarterback, Dylan was just your normal 10-year old boy among much-smaller-boys on the field, regularly blowing by defenders, making plays that others could only dream of.
Leading the Patriots offensive attack, he consistently could be found looking for the next defender to make miss, sometimes faking out defenders two-at-a-time en route to a plethora of multi-touchdown games and recognition from coaches all over.
One particular day, Dylan – preparing for a game against cross-town rival Apopka – strapped up his Michael Vick III Shark Cleats, and donned his infamous eye-black, something opposing teams didn’t like to see. This time, however, he placed his eye-black on vertically as opposed to horizontally, because he had ‘seen an FSU player do it, and it looked cool’.
It was that moment, that confirmed my belief, that my little brother WAS SPECIAL.
Enter that little brother of mine – Dylan Mellor, now a 17-year old senior at Woodgrove High School.
That little brother of mine who now is the Woodgrove record holder for each of the school’s receiving categories, single-season and career. Who is looking to eclipse 2,000 receiving yards this Friday night.
That little brother of mine who routinely makes the impossible look possible on the football field and in the classroom. Who scored a 2250 on his SATs.
That little brother of mine who habitually makes those did-you-see-that-highlight-reel receptions. Who makes grown men jump out of their seats.
That little brother of mine who caught the ball with a face full of pine tree. Who once remarked ‘cut-ers-hair-boy’ when watching a football game on TV.
That, not-so-little-brother anymore of mine. All 6-foot-1, 190-pounds of him.
How proud I am of all that he has accomplished and how proud I am of what he has made of himself and made of his team. How proud I am of how special he truly has been to me, our family and so many others.
A leader on a 6-3 Wolverines team looking to host an opening-round game of the VHSL Playoffs next week for the second consecutive season, Dylan has recorded 54 receptions for 920 yards and 16 touchdowns during the 2014 campaign. He has recorded another 325 yards on kick and punt returns and two more touchdowns while additionally, has caught two 2-point conversion attempts leading the team with 112 points this season.
He has 120 career receptions, 1,986 career receiving yards and 29 receiving touchdowns in three years on the varsity level at Woodgrove.
Friday night’s regular-season culmination comes for a Wolverines team that seemingly started the 2014 season still adjusting to life-without-Josh-Sweet. A team who has leaned heavily upon Dylan this season, with great success. With quarterback and best friend Billy Sheehan throwing the ball, the Sheehan-Mellor combination has quickly developed into one of Northern Virginia’s finest and most recognized.
Now, both senior QB and WR – with a host of other senior teammates – will play their final regular-season home game this Friday night.
While special in its own rite, it’s safe to say that this Woodgrove Senior Night will be one to remember for many reasons, but many of those reasons can be attributed to that special little brother of mine – Dylan Mellor.
Cheers to you, Dylan Mellor, my little brother, my favorite player. The best friend a guy could ask for.