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Sullivan an Asset to Tri-County LAX

A varsity lacrosse player since his freshman year, Dylan Sullivan has a knack for face-offs. Photos by Flexitphotography submitted D. Sullivan

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer

Tri-County’s Dylan Sullivan first picked up a lacrosse stick when he was in the third grade, all because his older brother Tim, who was three years older than he was, was playing the sport. Now almost a decade later, he has found the sport to be something that not only is he good at, but enjoys playing.

 “I used to watch my older brother playing, and it looked like a lot of fun, so I wanted to try it out,” Sullivan said. “I soon found out that I was good at the sport, and I enjoyed all the people that I played with.”

Growing up playing lacrosse in the youth leagues, Sullivan got a chance to take face-offs, and it was here that he realized that he had a knack for winning those draws. 

Sullivan decided to attend Tri-County Regional Vocational High School over the traditional high school, as he couldn’t envision himself sitting in academic classes. Having shop classes, he originally got involved with electrical, but found that he enjoyed engineering more and made the switch.

With those engineering skills, he was part of a six (3 engineering students and 3 health care students) were invited to take part in NASA Hunch, a program working with trade schools having them work out challenges. The TC team was to find a way to administer an IV fluid in space. The students did so well that they were asked to come to the Johnston Space Center in Houston to present their findings.

Prior to entering Tri-County, Dylan was set on playing the sport for the Cougars, and, as a freshman, he soon found out that high school lacrosse was nothing like the public lacrosse he had been playing the past five years.

“This was much different, as I as playing with seniors, who were three years older than I was and the game, the coaches and the atmosphere were all on a completely different level,” he said. “The tryouts were not scary, as I had already played football for the school, and I knew a lot of the kids and coaches.”

Making the varsity squad was something that didn’t surprise the incoming freshman.

“There was not a whole lot of kids, so I felt that my chances were good,” he said. “It was not easy, but if you have the skill, work hard, you can become a part of the team, and that’s what I did.”

Although he was able to earn a spot on the varsity team, he didn’t start until his sophomore year. Being proficient in taking face-offs, he felt a bit slighted, but understood.

“I felt that I was better at taking face-offs and should have been the starter, but the other player was an upperclassman, so it didn’t bother me,” Sullivan said. “About mid-way through my sophomore year, I took over as the starter.”

During his freshman campaign, Sullivan was only able to score two goals, as there was a powerhouse goal scorer in front of him, but he didn’t let it bother him and continued to do his job in the face-off circle whenever he got the chance. That year, he won 69 of his 80 face-offs according to Coach Brian Kelly. 

As he continued to do his job winning face-offs, he was also working on improving his goal scoring. After only netting 2 goals that first year he would notch 31 goals and 22 assists during his sophomore year and upped that total in his junior season to 49 goals and 20 assists giving him 124 points in his three seasons with the Cougars. 

Playing for the football team in the off-season, Kelly didn’t really do anything different to improve his offensive numbers. He attributes his success to being that, during that first year, he was an underclassman with a new team trying to find his way. 

“I was not a bad player, but I really wasn’t much of a shooter back then and needed to get use to my teammates,” he said.

Coach Kelly noted that, although Sullivan was a phenomenal athlete when he arrived at Tri-County, he did not have a developed shot, but that has changed over the years. Now, as he enters his senior season, Sullivan is looked upon as the star of the team. Kelly has high expectations.

“He’s got to be our leading goal scorer this year. He could easily surpass 60 goals,” Kelly said. “If he goes out and plays his game, there is a very good opportunity that he could be in consideration for league MVP as well.”

As he enters his senior season Sullivan brings with him a 79.4%-win ratio on his face-offs, and one of his goals this season is to get that number above 80%. Sullivan is also hoping to ger his point total to over 200 by the time that he leaves Tri-County, while improving upon his goals and assists.

“I don’t feel that I do anything special to win face-offs; I’m just very aggressive and use numerous ways to get the ball out and pass it to my teammates,” he said. “If the opposition gets it first, there are always ways to get it back. You get a feel for their skill, and after a few face-offs, you know their habits and what they’re looking to do.”

Having already been named a two-time Mayflower league All-Star, Sullivan would like to add one more to that total and feels that it would be an amazing career if he were to be named league MVP.

“If it happens, it happens,” he said. “I’m just looking to go out and play my best and help the team make it to the tournament.”