He and his older brother Tyler, a special education student, are very close. In fact, it’s almost impossible to see one without the other being right next or close by.
“I can hear his voice from the stands, even above my parents,” Dylan said. “He’s very passionate. He gets into it, whatever the season is.”
Football seems to be Tyler’s favorite sport, but he’s also on hand when Dylan wrestles, or when he throws the shot put and discus in track and field. He has inspired Dylan to finish second in district wrestling in the 285-pound division and to a fourth-place district finish in the shot put.
And Dylan is always there when Tyler competes. He said Tyler is quite the athlete when it comes to events such as Miracle League baseball and Special Olympics, in which he competes in bowling, track and field, basketball and swimming.
“He’s a big power hitter, I guess you could say,” Dylan said. “It’s hard to keep up with him running around the bases, he gets so excited.”
The two have a younger brother, Trey, a sophomore who plays football and soccer. He’s also learning to wrestle and trying golf, Dylan said.
And yes, Tyler is always there for Trey’s sporting events — as is Dylan.
You never see him without a smile on his face. He loves life. Except when his Rangers or Cowboys lose.
Dylan Francis on older brother Tyler
“I love seeing Tyler celebrate both brothers at their games,” Colleyville Heritage head football coach Joe Willis said. “And when Dylan comes to the weight room in the summer, Tyler often comes with him. If any one of our players need a good example of brotherhood, it isn’t hard to find in that family. Truly heartwarming.”
Tyler was also by Dylan’s side as he fought through a pair of injuries to his pinkie and right hand to start 12 of 14 games for the Panthers (10-4) last season as they enjoyed their best season in several years. As a result, Dylan was named the team’s Leadership Award winner this past spring, an honor given to him by his teammates.
“It just felt amazing. I know I’m not the best athlete out there, but it was great to know the majority of the team picked me,” Dylan said.
Dylan was also named the Most Durable Offensive Player by his coaches.
Dylan is hoping to use his experience to become a physical therapist. He also hopes to play in college.
“I spent a lot of time in the training room. I feel a kinship, a connection with players who get injured,” he said.
In the 2016 Colleyville Heritage spring football game, coach Joe Willis put Tyler Francis, a special education student, in at quarterback. He threw a touchdown and fans chanted, “Tyler! Tyler!”
And, of course, he was thinking of Tyler as he battled through his injuries.
“I thought I’d set an example for him by fighting through,” Dylan said. “For example, he was not a good swimmer, but we worked together. We figured if I can do it, so can he. I want to lead by example.”
Likewise, Tyler is setting a daily example for Dylan and anyone who knows him, Dylan said.
“You never see him without a smile on his face. He loves life,” Dylan said, adding with a laugh, “Except when his Rangers or Cowboys lose.”
Willis said, “His relationship with Tyler is not only inspirational, but the connection Tyler has to the team is something I look forward to every week.”
Tyler has also had his own moments shining on the football field. In the seventh grade he was put in a game and scored a touchdown.
And in 2016 at the Panthers’ spring game, Willis put him in and he threw a touchdown pass.
“That was so cool,” Dylan said. “Everyone was yelling ‘Tyler! Tyler!.’ He was so proud, and so was I.”
Dylan realizes next year at this time he will likely be living in a different city than Tyler. However, he said distance won’t diminish their closeness.
“Both of our parents work for American Airlines, so I’ll be coming home a lot,” Dylan said. “Plus, Tyler’s actually very good with technology. We can FaceTime.
“We’ll definitely stay in touch. I can’t imagine us ever being without each other.”