Some might consider the next 10 years a daunting endeavor for Oak Hall’s Dylan Provencher.
This past March, the Class of 2023 graduate signed to play college football at Division-III Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will study engineering.
Provencher left 10 days after high school graduation to attend Navy ROTC New Student Indoctrination at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.
New Student Indoctrination or “NSI” is designed to prepare the midshipmen candidates for the NROTC program, providing standardized militarization and initial training. The training takes place in the same facilities that train all Navy enlisted sailors.
“I am going to CMU on a Naval ROTC scholarship and upon graduation will be a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and serve for at least five years,” Provencher said.
NSI begins the process of creating basically trained, smartly disciplined, tough and courageous future Navy and Marine Corps Officers.
“I know he will do great things as a student-athlete at Carnegie Mellon and also in the Navy ROTC program,” said Oak Hall football coach R.J. Fuhr. “Attending one of the top 5 engineering schools in the country, playing football and being in Navy ROTC is a herculean task but if anyone can do it, it is Dylan.”
That’s because of his work ethic and determination.
Provencher was a part of the Oak Hall varsity football program since his sixth-grade year and played on the varsity since his eighth-grade year.
“The thing I will remember most about Dylan is his work ethic, love for the game and most importantly his leadership by example and his love for his team,” Fuhr said.
His three years as the Eagles’ tight end will serve him as he plays the position at the next level. He was a First-Team All-Conference selection (SSAC) all three years.
One of his favorite high school moments was catching a game-winning pass.
“My junior year in a home game against Seven Rivers Christian (Lecanto), we were down by two points in the fourth quarter with four seconds left on the clock, I caught a pass in double coverage and came up with the ball and win,” Provencher said. “The crowd went wild and the team stormed the field. After that, I ran in the 2-point conversion. It was electric.”
But it was after football season that shed some light on his work ethic.
Provencher had individual workouts before school with former Eastside star Tim Shankle, who played football and basketball for the Rams, to run, speed train, and work on his agility. He would then go to school, weight train and follow with basketball practice.
He did this while maintaining a 4.6 GPA and a heavy AP course load. He also scored 1530 on the SAT.
Provencher, who also competed in track for Oak Hall, enjoyed all three sports he participated in but there was one that stood out.
“Football definitely spoke to me though from a young age and at one point I had to let some other sports that I also loved take a backseat due to the intensity of commitment and training that was needed to take this to the next level,” he said. “The camaraderie and discipline I have experienced in football is like no other sport. It has helped me in every area of my life.”
It’s a life that has included AP Scholar with Distinction 9-12th grade, National Honor Society 10-12th, National Science Honor Society 10-12th, National Spanish Honor Society 10-12th, Rensselaer Medal Winner 11th grade, Mu Alpha Theta 10-12th, Cum Laude Society, and a National Merit Finalist.
There is one thing he will remember most about playing sports at Oak Hall.
“My teammates,” Provencher said. “I am so grateful I had the opportunity to play with these guys.”
He’s a winner on and off the field.
“His senior year midway through the season we had some injuries to our O line so he volunteered to play offensive tackle,” Fuhr noted. “That says all I need to about Dylan. His selflessness and team before me attitude is second to none.”