Observer #1: “He looks angry.”
Observer #2: “Yeah, he doesn’t seem very nice. Yeah, I doubt he’ll gel well with the lads.”
Observer #3: “The width of his biceps is greater than the height of his body.”
OBETZ, OH – These may be a few of the phrases that you heard in groups of sweaty, newly adopted brothers as they observe and genuinely welcome another into the group. The training had been rigorous; nearly maniacal, but this was the job. New employees were showing up in ones and twos, as the incumbents training fearlessly… always looking to the entrance of Resolute Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio to see who would be the next member of the Aviators to walk in the door.
Manager extraordinaire for the Aviators and charitable Columbus Old Boy, Tom Rooney, was first to take to the self-proclaimed “Butcher”.
“He’s tough and he’s mean. I like him,” spoke Rooney to yours truly on the Butcher’s first day. Rooney is a tough man himself, playing front row and worshiping the scrum like no man I have ever met has. And I would fathom to say after the initial day or two, Butch was and remains to be a perfect piece of the machine that is the Ohio Aviators.
Dylan “The Butcher” Fawsitt is an Irish-born, professional rugby player in the newly developed Professional Rugby Organization (PRO) for the Ohio Aviators. Customary for young boys growing up in Ireland, Butch grew up playing every and any sport available; hurling, gaelic football, soccer, rugby union and so on. If you do not know what hurling is, I would watch the clip below. The game itself is incredible and the passion the Irish show for it is borderline terrifying. He went on to achieve his bachelor of science degree at University in Dublin prior to continuing his studies at Life University in Marietta, GA where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and Kinesiology.
Fawsitt had always been an incredible competitor; being a member of the Irish U-20’s set up as a back row forward. Being slightly shorter than the traditional flanker, Fawsitt saw the transition to the front row as his only option to remain in the elite competition that he had grown so accustomed to. That change to the number 2 shirt has been a blessing for Aviator fans as he is the perfect compliment to Ohio’s monstrous props in Demecus Beach and Jamie “The Whopper” Mackinstosh; offering a certain calmness and comfortability with the ball that sometimes stifles the every day forward.
Since Day 1 of walking into the set up of the Ohio Aviator camp, Fawsitt has been an incredible teammate, a fierce competitor, and a sleeveless warrior. His trademark goatee and aggressive self-talk have become attributes that we with the Aviators have enjoyed and cherished sharing with one another each day at our outdoor office.
“Good ball, Butcher,” he growls to himself. He barks to the other forwards, “Set up on me, lads! What are ya, tick?” (Irish for “thick”), as the 10 minute line-out warm up snaps along with a certain zeal that can only come from a healthy mix of experience and pure enthusiasm.
The Ohio Aviator’s have a certain knack to appear as perfectionists as set-piece time; seeing these opportunities as a responsibility to not only their fellow teammates, but to the actual game of rugby itself, to be clinical and precise. Behind this driving force is the captain of the forwards, Jamie “The Whopper” Mackinstosh. But do not let his frame and intensity fool you, he has a sidekick, a fiery fellow who would stand toe to toe with anyone on his captain’s request, The Butcher.
The Butcher carries himself at a different posture than most front row forwards. Rarely seen with sleeves and without a scowl, Fawsitt is the first to line outs and the first to help out the team Manager Rooney. The two share a sort of unadulterated loathing for the general public in a hilarious way that makes you want to observe them together from a distance and laugh at the irony of their façade; they are two of the most genuine people on the Aviator outfit.
From Wexford, Ireland, he was competitive in everything – even soccer and table tennis. Dreaming of eventual rugby professionalism, Fawsitt put not only time and effort into the bicep curl but also his studies, thus the two aforementioned degrees. While studying at Life University, Dylan captained the 2016 ARP (Atlantic Rugby Premiership) competition winning side, while working hard enough to manage a selection to an ARP Selects side who competed against the Ontario Blues.
Fawsitt is also one for coaching, noting that he is looking forward to manning the touch lines as a coach of some sort when his playing days are behind him. He was one of the pivotal coaches for Life University as the men’s side clinched a D1A National Title this past spring.
I believe that I speak for most when I say that having the Butcher playing his rugby for Ohio has elevated the game of those around him; pushing the others in the squad to pick up their level of play and passion to that of his, to develop a tenacity for training and a certain panache for making difficult and trying tasks appear ordinary.
“Put some mustard on it, Butcher!” That’s Dylan yelling to himself… because he’s his harshest critic and has an intense motivation to perform for the Ohio Aviators.
And we’re all better off for it.
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