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Holliston - Local Town Pages

Sahagian A Rare Breed In His Approach To Lacrosse

Brian Sahagian is a two-time National Honor Society student.

Staff Sports Writer
Holliston High coach John Mulvaney calls co-captain Brian Sahagian “a very special lacrosse player.’’ He also rates the senior midfielder as one of the five best players he’s coached in his five years at the Panthers’ helm.
What defines Sahagian and makes him a breed apart is his mature approach to setting goals, the way he views his leadership role, and the style he relies on to produce positive results.
Sahagian just happens to be a triple threat — on a lacrosse field, in a swimming pool and in the classroom. 
The Holliston native, who is vice president of the senior class, has a 4.06 GPA and is a two-time National Honor Society student who’ll study mechanical engineering at Boston University in the fall. Sahagian, who excelled in four freestyle events for the Panthers’ swim and dive team, was a two-time Tri Valley League all-star and a key cog for the boys squad that finished the winter season as TVL champions.  
Mulvaney, who’s coached the Panthers to three tournament appearances, speaks emphatically about Sahagian’s strengths in lacrosse.
“Brian has a very high lacrosse IQ and he’s excellent in transition,’’ Mulvaney noted. “He’s got speed and quickness, is very athletic, and flexible on offense and defense. He capably directs players into position and his body control is exceptional. He’s a two-time captain who leads by example and by being vocal, supportive and encouraging.’’
Sahagian’s team goals at the start of the season included a berth in the playoffs and a desire to advance as far as possi ble in the tourney. At Local Town Pages deadlines, a tourney invitation seems remote. Holliston’s record was 4-10. Sahagian’s other team goal, however, is even more admirable. He wanted to build Holliston’s lacrosse tradition by getting his teammates to perform community service.
“We shoveled driveways and sidewalks in six large neighborhoods,’’ he said. “We did that for each of the three major snowstorms last winter. We got lots of thanks and some residents paid us. Instead of taking money, we suggested they donate it to the program.’’
Another project occurred in April — another clean-up job. “The new turf field had lots of trash on it,’’ Sahagian noted. “After a practice, the entire team removed all the trash.’’
The personal goals he set for lacrosse this spring weren’t about increasing his goals and assist totals. They were aimed at individual improvement to help his team. “I wanted to become a quality leader as a captain and to improve my play as a midfielder,’’ he said.
Sahagian scored 48 goals and assisted on 32 last year. This season, in spite of missing four games because of a concussion, he had 24 goals and 18 assists at Local Town Pages deadline.
Preferring to lead by example, Sahagian says he’s not afraid to speak up. “If some guidance is needed, I’ll be vocal,’’ he said. “I also strive to be supportive and encouraging.’’
Sahagian calls his style of play “strategic,’’ and that’s linked to his height and weight.
“At 5-8 and 160 pounds, I’ve got to be faster, more instinctive and quicker in transition,’’ he emphasized. “And, I’ve got to play with my head up because it’s important to know what the opposition and my teammates are going to do. Another key is being mentally tough and resilient. I’m able to rally if it seems like I’m defeated. When I’m down, I stay composed. 
Returning to action after his concussion, Sahagian gladly rejoined the Panthers’ other midfielders whom he rates as top-notch contributors. They are senior co-captain Nick Cotting and sophomores Harry Smith and Kevin Sahagian (younger brother).
“Nick is dependable on and off the field,’’ Sahagian said. “A good leader, he’s got a cannon for a shot. Harry gives all-out effort all the time and he’s adept at scooping up ground balls and giving us possession. Kevin has stepped into his role and is our go-to-guy on faceoffs.’’
Sahagian is also upbeat about Mulvaney. “He’s passionate about lacrosse,’’ Sahagian said. “After his sons graduated, he remained as the team’s coach. He likes to have fun in practice but he knows how to motivate us and get the players prepared.’’
Sahagian was very prepared in a match against Ashland last year. “They beat us in our first meeting and in our second game we didn’t seem to have much energy,’’ he said. “The game was tied at halftime. The coach asked me to speak, so I focused on getting motivated and re-energized. We won, 11-7 and I finished with five goals and an assist Four of the five goals came in the second half.’’
The 18-year-old Sahagian says his top thrill occurred as a freshman. “We were at Wayland and it was their senior night,’’ he recalled. “We had to win that game to qualify for the tourney. Our upperclassmen scored some awesome goals and we won by two points. I didn’t play much but it was so rewarding and fun. It felt like we won a championship.’’
Relying on an athletic philosophy that stresses reaching his potential, Sahagian is quick to point to valuable life lessons he’s learned from competing in lacrosse and swimming. “Some life lessons I’ve learn in sports include overcoming adversity, learning how to be resilient, how to build team chemistry and how to become a quality leader,’’ he noted. “I also learned how to allow teammates to realize their strengths and their roles.’’
At Boston University, Sahagian will devote most of his time to academics but he does plan to compete in either lacrosse or swimming at the club or intramural level.

                  Brian Sahagian (right) controls the ball in a game against Hopkinton.

College will provide Sahagian with a new routine and a new chapter of his life. And, while he’s looking forward to college life, he knows his career at Holliston High is heading for the finish line. 
“I’ll miss the school, my teammates and coaches and all the teachers,’’ Sahagian emphasized. “I can’t thank them enough. But, I’m a bit nervous about the future. It’s the kind of feeling that will make me work to ensure a positive future.’’ 

When he learned of Mulvaney ranking him in the top five players that he’s coached, Sahagian was honored. “I’m humbled by that,’’ he said. “There’s been some great players who’ve competed here in the last four years and they’ve had success in college. I’m honored to be thought of that way.’’ 
Brian Sahagian has lived and breathed lacrosse — 13 years in the youth leagues, four years at the AAU level and four more on Holliston’s varsity squad. He says he feels like he’s made a positive impact.
He has Indeed.