By Max Bowenemail@example.com
From the age of 4, Jason Beaulieu loved to play sports.
Whether that was baseball, football, track and field, or basketball, he could often be found on a field or court. Obstacles only served to challenge and push him to new heights, even setting records as he closes out his time at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School with the Class of 2020.
Recently, Beaulieu received the Cougar Lifetime Achievement Award, given to student athletes who have participated in 12 consecutive seasons of athletics at the school. He was also named the the 2020 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, which goes to those that maintain high grades while playing sports.
Beaulieu said that his mother helped get him into sports, including youth football, the Little Mites soccer program, or basketball at the YMCA. She also made sure he always got to practice, even when events in their lives made this a challenge.
“It’s taught me how to make friends and be a good teammate, be respectful of my elders and in the the future, my boss,” he said. “How to be polite, control my anger, how to show it on the field in a more controlled view. It molded me into a better person.”
A multi-sport athlete
While at Tri-County, Beaulieu played football and was on the track and field and wrestling teams. Because these took place in different seasons, he said that he was always playing a sport. He described track as his “showboat sport,” one in which he set numerous records, including the spring medley with the team, as well as the 400-meter, 400-meter hurdle, and pentathlon. He said doing this can serve as an inspiration to others to try and set their own records, or even beat his own.
“To end senior year knowing I left a mark and set a challenge for the future, it’s kind of humbling in that way,” said Beaulieu. “I get to be someone’s competition.”
March would have been the beginning of Beaulieu’s final track season, but the pandemic put that to a halt. He said the team and coaches stayed in touch with Zoom calls and trained on their own, but it wasn’t the same.
“I got named captain in the senior year, but the season didn’t even begin,” he said.
Wrestling coach Steve LaPlante worked with Beaulieu for his four years at Tri-County and described him as experienced, tough, and knowledgeable. During his time Beaulieu was able to cut his weight, which allowed him to be faster on the mats.
“He’s a very intelligent kid,” said LaPlante.
In football, Beaulieu began as a fullback, and later spoke to his coaches and switched to the defensive side, becoming a linebacker and eventually being named captain. Head Football Coach Kahn Chace worked with Beaulieu for a year, and described him as an exceptional young man who works hard and is very respectful. When he spent a lot of time on the bench, Chace said that Beaulieu didn’t complain, and instead asked what else he could do.
“He did an outstanding job,” said Chace. “He didn’t pick the easy sports. Waking up in the A.M. to go to work and then sports is not easy. I’d say he did it and he did it well.”
Beaulieu said that he enjoys the competitive nature of sports, but not so that he can gloat about his victories. Rather, when someone beats him, he sees it as a challenge to overcome and he’ll train hard to make it happen. Track coach Seth Curran said that Beaulieu understood that he wasn’t just running to win, he was running to push himself.
“We knew that he would be good,” said Curran.
Beaulieu said that it’s important not to be angry at someone for beating you. While on the track team, he would sometimes change events if he felt he wasn’t suited to them. In wrestling, he said he would cry when he lost, but soon learned that it was part of the process.
“If you resent that person, what does that show you?” he said. “You’ve given up on yourself and what your coaches taught you.”
Excelling in the classroom and on the field
The lifetime achievement award recognizes excellence in both academics and athletics, and Beaulieu said this was no each task. At Tri-County, students switch off week to week with academics and a co-op program which focuses on a variety of vocational studies, such as building trades, auto trades, and different technical fields. Beaulieu would do his homework whenever he could, taking chips out of it and larger projects during the day instead of waiting to do it all at once. He said that organization is key and you can’t overwhelm yourself.
“Organize and stay on top of everything, you can’t get swamped,” he said. “You can ask for help from peers and teachers. They completely understand.”
Growing up in North Attleborough, Beaulieu attended the Martin School and North Attleborough Middle School. It was Tri-County’s engineering program that drew him to the school. He remembered a time when a biomedical engineer made a presentation to his class during a STEM event, showing a video of kittens that had been made to glow in the dark. He said this planted the seed, and his interest in the field grew while at a Veterans Day celebration. There, he saw a number of people with prosthetics, and knew he wanted to focus on this. This fall, he’ll attend Western New England University, which he said has an amazing biomedical program.
“I could make something that could help these people,” he said of the veterans.
Beaulieu said he was very strict with himself when it came to grades. Once, he had a C+ in algebra, and at the same time was working hard to cut his weight from 160 to 145 pounds. The stress became too much and he said he cracked. He later sought help from his mother and teachers and not only did his grades improve, he met his weight loss goal.
“I got through it because of the people around me,” said Beaulieu. “Nothing is impossible. If you really are passionate about it, you can do it.”