Dylan Young named Journal’s Male Athlete of the Year

Scrum half’s extraordinary season earns him the nod

Young was one point shy of scoring the most points in the OUA last season.
Credit: 
Jeff Chan

For his dominance, versatility, and leadership on the pitch, Queen’s scrum half Dylan Young is The Journal’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Young, who now plays for the Toronto Arrows in Major League Rugby, racked up the accolades this season: he was named OUA Player of the Year, a first team OUA All-Star, and first team all-tournament at the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC). He also finished second in the OUA for points with 67.

However, Young still gets surprised by the recognition for his on-field achievements.

“I don’t feel like I deserve it really,” Young, ArtSci ’20, said in an interview with The Journal. “It’s humbling to be recognized for a performance you did but you don’t even think about [it], you just love playing the game [above] anything else.”

Young wouldn’t take any credit for the success his team has had in recent years, instead pointing to the sense of community that ties the team together.

“If you’re in the rugby program, you’ll make friends. Everyone’s nice,” Young said, “No bad guys around.”

All of Young’s roommates are on the rugby team, a fact that Young calls the “added bonus” of being a Gael. He never had to worry about making friends, since he found them in his teammates.

Young has played on the team for five years, giving him the opportunity to watch the team develop under shifting leadership circumstances. When Young started in 2015, Queen’s Head Coach David Butcher had just started being paid a full-time salary. Young saw the team flourish when the change to full-time status was made.

“He was able to dedicate more time to it, so obviously [he was] able to get more results,” Young said.

Under Butcher’s leadership, the team has won three consecutive OUA championships, and five out of the last six.

“[They are] a lot of fun, and they’ve definitely made us a much better team in the last two years,” Young said.

Young’s success on the pitch has been crucial for the Gaels—he put up 12 points in last year’s OUA Championship in a 27-18 decision en route to being named OUA Peak Performer of the Week.

According to Young, the highlight of his time at Queen’s was travelling to Victoria, B.C. to play in the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship.

The rugby team was an older team at the time, with many graduating fourth- and fifth-year members, and spirts were high.

After beating the University of Victoria, the Gaels lost in the finals to UBC. Despite the loss, the energy in the change room was nothing but positive.

“Everyone was in good spirits and happy to have played and had the experience, playing the national finals in their last year,” Young said.

This past fall, Young saw his team make it to nationals once again. “It was the part of the year you kind of get busy at school, [so] it was great to just go away for four days and play rugby and just hang out with your friends the entire time,” Young said.

After losing to the University of Victoria in the semi-finals, the Gaels beat out Concordia University for bronze.

Since wrapping up the 2019 season, Young has been playing in his hometown for the Toronto Arrows. He’s holding out hope for some exhibition games later this summer.

Young has set his sights on returning to Queen’s this fall. He’s hoping to study law, which would let him stay on the rugby team and continue to play.

“I think Queen’s is the place to go for the best experience and best coaching for sure.”

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