Brian Gazard, Boy’s Lacrosse

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
April, 2019
Article Body: 

At the age of six years old Brian Gazard’s father decided to sign him up to play youth lacrosse, but was unfortunately told that he was too young to play on a team. Instead of actually playing the actual sport he’d be entered into a skills camp where he’d learn the nuances of the game, but somehow eventually found himself onto a under 13 team.
“My dad knew and like the sport and figured that I’d enjoy it as well,” said Gazard. “I tried it and loved it. The speed of the game, the team aspect and playing with teammates while growing relationships with them.”
Having made an Ashland Youth Lacrosse under 13 team Gazard found himself on an island all by himself and was not sure that he actually wanted to try the sport out.
“I was going to have to play with kids who were a lot older than I was so I originally didn’t want to go because of the age difference and none of my friends would be playing on the team,” Bishop said. “I did go to the first practice and once I was there I realized that it was a funs sport. Age didn’t matter and I was enjoying myself.”
Gazard, who also plays hockey and football for the Clockers, got involved with some club lacrosse teams to improve his skills prior to entering high school. Despite bringing his game to the next level the incoming freshman still found the tryouts to be very intimidating.
“I knew the kids, but I was not close to them. As a freshman trying out I just didn’t want to mess up,” he said. “It was scary, but I just wanted to go out and play the game and as the tryouts progressed I forgot about everything and just concentrate on lacrosse.”
The now junior found that his approach to the tryouts had earned him a position on the varsity squad as an attacker, a position he had been playing since the seventh grade when his then Ashland Youth Lacrosse coached moved him from midfielder.
As a member pf the varsity squad, Gazard once again found himself one of the younger athletes on the team and before his first game felt the jitters.
“I was definitely scared a little,” he said. “I eventually shook the nerves and turned my attention to playing the game and being part of the team. I had a couple of assists and that gave me the confidence I needed.”
That season the Clocker freshman averaged 1.7 points per game, netting 34 points (mostly assists) in 20 games. The following year he increased his numbers to 52 points (36 goals and 16 assists) as a sophomore.
During that sophomore season Ashland had a new coach n Bill Graham guiding the Clockers.
“During my first year with the team he played much bigger than a sophomore,” the Ashland Coach said. “Being a lefty added a nice touch on the field. He was a big physical presence and his numbers (goals and assists) were both second on the team.”
Gazard contributes the increase in his numbers that year due to the fact that the team had a number of its top scorers injured and that the rest of the team needed to step it up and pick up the slack if the team was to have success.
Coming into this season Graham is looking for his junior attackman to come into his own as a leader.
“Being part of a core junior class I’m hoping that he becomes a general on the field and helps us to be successful this season,” Graham said. “He’s a strong all-around player, especially around the crease. There is no shot that he doesn’t want to take and is willing to do anything for the benefit of the team.”
While Gazard likes to put the ball into the back of the opposition’s net as much as he can he doesn’t want to have to do it at the expense of the team.
“I want the entire team to get involved,” the junior said. “I like scoring and want to score a lot, but only in a way that I’m contributing to the team’s success.”
Along with having success at Ashland during the regular season Gazard is hoping that the team can advance further into the tournament than they did a year ago. Last spring the Clockers finished at 8-8 and advanced into the Division 3 Central Tournament only to lose to Lunenburg 19-9. A year earlier Ashland defeated Oakmont 18-5 before falling to Dover-Sherborn 13-8 in the tournament.