High School Senior Profile
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
DUDLEY – One of the first things you notice after talking to Shepherd Hill senior Brad Picard for a few minutes is that he is quick to give credit to others for any success he has experienced during his high school years, and that is not a bad trait at all.
Picard grew up in Dudley, where he has lived his entire life with parents Holly and Taze and his brother TJ, who is in the midst of his freshman year of college at American International College in Springfield.
Even before we start talking about his long list of accomplishments Picard is quick to thank his family.
“They brought me up well and always encouraged me to stay out of trouble,” said Picard. “Without them I would not be the student and athlete that I am now. I give a lot of credit to parents and my grandparents.”
Picard has excellent grades in school and is in the top ten percent of his class and member of the National Honor Society. He is also an outstanding athlete, which led to his being named captain of both the football and baseball teams. He is also part of the unofficial, yet extremely popular, Shepherd Hill bowling team.
As he prepares to play his final season of baseball, it has been his incredible football career that has given him unforgettable memories.
“The two most major things that I will remember about high school are in my junior year when we beat Auburn in football and ended their streak, and this year’s playoff win over Doherty,” said Picard. “My grandmother passed away an hour before the Doherty game, from that and then winning the game made the day very memorable for me. I like to think that she was there watching over us.”
During his fantastic career as a running back and linebacker, he did it all statistically, but of course he was quick to give others the credit for his successes. “If I didn’t have the lineman blocking in front of me, especially Matt Petrelli, I wouldn’t have had all the yards I had.” See what we mean? And of course there is more.
“I have always idolized Coach (Chris) Lindstrom and my brother,” said Picard. “If it wasn’t for my brother I wouldn’t have played football. He is one of my number one inspirations.”
He also remembers one of his teachers, Matt Morway, helping him get through a difficult freshman year, during which he contemplated leaving the school.
“I want to especially thank Mr. Morway. He pushed me to stay here and if he didn’t I would have probably gone to Holy Name, and who knows what would have happened there,” said Picard.
Shepherd Hill assistant football coach Ryan Dugan knows what a special individual he had in Picard. “Brad is a tremendous role model, not only as a student athlete, but as a person. His leadership throughout the year held our very young football team together. If we had a young player come into the weight room for the first time, we would tell him: do as Brad does and you will be just fine.”
Dugan calls Picard the ultimate over-achiever. “A coach likes to look back at a player’s career and ask himself, 'Did this player get everything out of himself that he could?' In Brad's case there was no doubt that he gave our team everything he had both in terms of ability, but more importantly, in heart and emotion”.
Off the field Picard was an outstanding leader and on the field he raised the bar for what it was like playing football for the successful Shepherd Hill program.
“When I think of Brad's football career, there are two defining moments in my mind,” said Dugan. “I still get chills thinking about his game-sealing 60-yard run touchdown against Auburn his junior year. The second was this past year’s Doherty playoff game where he raised his game to a whole new level, scoring two touchdowns and playing a great game at linebacker.”
“I am confident he is going to be successful in whatever endeavor he chooses,” said Dugan.
Picard has been accepted at some very good schools, including his top choice of Western New England College, University of Maine, and Roger Williams College. He plans on studying Civil Engineering because Math is “his thing.”
“I am very open to finishing school. starting a new chapter in my life and meeting new people,” said Picard. “I feel like college is going to be a good opportunity for me.”