Written by Matthew Queen.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine—Dylan Francoeur is Southern Maine Community College’s (SMCC) male student-athlete spotlight of April. Standing six feet, three inches tall, Francoeur specializes as a role player as a member of the SeaWolves’ baseball program—a pitcher and third basemen. In his first year, Francoeur is loving his time here at SMCC. A native of Westbrook, Maine and a graduate of Westbrook High School, Francoeur has always envisioned himself pursuing a degree in construction. He is in his second semester of a two-year plan to earn an Associate’s degree in construction technology—“ready to make money in the real world.”
As two-sport athlete at Westbrook High in baseball and ice hockey, Francoeur has created many memories playing both—“there is no greater joy than competing in the sports you love.” The focus now for Francoeur is baseball. Coming in as a freshman, he didn’t expect to have the impact he’s had with the team thus far. “I’ve formed bonds with a lot of players. It’s fun to play with a good group on and off the field.” Sporting a 3.0 grade point average, Francoeur is taking a full course load with five classes and excited to “grind [his] way through college and begin a career in construction.” Building and remodeling houses is what Dylan wants to do. Dylan was brought up in the family business and is beyond thankful to have been integrated into it. His grandfather started the business and passed it down to his father. When Dylan’s opportunity arrives, he wants to continue the family legacy.
Speaking on the difficulties surrounding baseball, Francoeur noted, “it’s not an easy sport and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Baseball is a mental game. You’ve got to make the fundamentals work first before you can play. Making sure your body is in good health is also an important factor.” Team chemistry was another piece that Dylan emphasized as a key to any team’s success. “Communication is huge. It’s everywhere, teammates have to learn how to communicate effectively. You should want to win the game for the next guy in the dugout.”
The baseball team recently returned from a week-long trip to Florida and Dylan spoke on his experience. He said playing nine games in five days was a wonderful way to get into the rhythm in the beginnings of the season. “The weather was beautiful—real baseball weather. We all came together and bonded like a family.” Dylan mentioned after games the team ate dinner together and was a family off the diamond.
Francoeur loves to credit his father with the impact he’s had both in his teachings as a person and as a baseball player. His father always pushed him to play hard and was the first to put a bat in his hands. “My dad just loves the game so much. One year he bought me a batting cage and set it up in the backyard.” Francoeur transitioned into the difficulties of conquering a “baseball slump.” He reverted back to his childhood batting cage and said, “If it’s hitting, get back to the tee and the fundamentals of your swing. Once you find that ‘feel good spot,’ continue to replicate it.” Dylan went on to speak about his strengths and weaknesses as a player and how he has been working to improve upon them. “I’m open-minded to new hitting or pitching strategies. If coaches see a hitch in my swing, I’m willing to start over. My weaknesses are my decisions on the base paths and with the glove on defense, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to transform myself into the best baseball player I can be.”