New Bedford — After endless quarantines, social distancing, and mask wearing, most people were happy when COVID restrictions were lifted.
Not Tyler Tavares of GNB Voc-Tech.
“It was like a dog in a cage. I tried to escape, but in the end they let everything down,” he said. “Mask off this and that. The next thing you know is like the world is crashing into you. I was kind of lost. I didn’t know what to do.”
The idea of being around a large group made Tavares sick.
“I couldn’t go to school,” he said. “I used to throw up a lot before going to school. My stomach hurt so much. I couldn’t finish class. I couldn’t do anything.”
Tavares knew it couldn’t go on like this.
“I was asking for help,” he said. “I was too scared to say it. One day, I finally confided everything to someone. I think it was my mother. After that, I asked for the help I needed.”
2022 Preview:For Fairhaven football, Chase is looking to win another South Coast Conference Gold Title.
It took Tavares six months to get help at Butler Hospital, a private, nonprofit psychiatric and substance abuse facility in Providence.
As Tavares dedicated himself to improving his mental health, he stepped away from football, the sport he had been playing since he was young.
“This year has definitely made me mentally stronger than last year,” said a junior. “Personally, last season I struggled with a lot of depression and anxiety. went.
Tavares said he also benefited from a mental performance training workshop that GNB Voc-Tech hosted for the school’s student-athletes earlier this year.
“When she started the program, everything went well,” Tavares said, noting that Dr. Heather Larkin contributed to his progress. “Laura Wilde came to our school and she went through a mental health program. She pretty much touched everything. The main thing that bothered me was where your feet were. was to stay.
“For example, right now I am practicing. I am where my feet are. I am on the grass. I don’t worry about what happened before, I don’t worry about anything about it.”
Stay mentally healthy:Professionals are doing it. Now the GNB Voc-Tech athlete says mental his performance training helps.
GNB Voc-Tech head coach Justin Cruz said the Bears have struggled with the mental side of their football over the past few years.
“I used to get down on myself when things didn’t go my way and I couldn’t bounce back,” said Cruz, who also participated in mental performance training. “When I talk to coaches, they talk about how to make players mentally tough. How do you teach and train them? This is another tool in our toolbox. .”
Senior running back Joseph Breitman said the training gave him a new perspective.
Fast as lightning:Introducing the 2022 Standard Time Boys Track Superteams and All-Stars
“I remember making a lot of mistakes last year and always being stuck in the moment, but the mental training helped,” he said. “You have to focus on the next play. Don’t worry about the last play. You can’t keep thinking about what happened last. It’s a must-have sport.
“Last year, whenever someone gave us a score, we were always down on ourselves. We were down on each other.
With some players graduating, Tavares knows and is ready for a bigger role in the backfield.
“There’s definitely more pressure this year,” said Tavares, who lives in Fairhaven. “I want to do my best this season. A lot of people have turned to me to accomplish the big things that I set out to do for myself, but because of what I’ve done so far, I’m not able to do it.” I couldn’t. I’m trying to lead the team and do my part.”
Expectations are high for the Bears this fall after reaching the State Vocational College championship a year ago.
“We want to go back to the vocational state championship game, and this time we want to win,” Cruz said. “Beyond that, I want to do the (MIAA) playoffs again. We did it the year before COVID.”
The Bears won three straight games to qualify for the 2021 Occupational Championship, but lost 30-7 to the Northeast Metro.
GNB Voc-Tech Senior Linebacker/Wide Receiver Jerry Vasconcelos said: “It was a long ride home and it was cold. We were blown away and heartbroken. It was terrible.”
Recall:GNB Voc-Tech football turnover loses to Northeast in state vocational final
Junior quarterback Jhaiden Reis agrees. It was tough, but that was my motivation for this season. I’m going to do whatever I can to get back out there and help others. “
Reis is battling sophomore Nick Boucher for the starting QB spot after Cam Lynch graduates.
“We have some talented young players,” Cruz said. “No matter who we lose, it’s high school football and we’re rebuilding and rebuilding strong.
“We’ve talked about building programs that players don’t play by default. They’re playing behind the seniors who got that position, and we’re on that path. Me. we have [Joseph] Brightman and [Tyler] Both Tavares have national team experience, but had to buy time in the backfield. ”
Senior wide receiver/outside linebacker Michael Murphy said the team’s strength this year is its intimacy.
“We haven’t been able to bond much since the COVID season, but this summer we were all 7-on-7 lifting weights in the gym and hanging out with each other,” he said. Told. “The bond we’re building over the course of this summer is building chemistry.”
Junior Lineman Isander Algarin added: I think we are ready. ”
September 9th: Southeast, 7 p.m.
September 15th: Dartmouth, 7pm
September 23rd: Fairhaven, 6:30 p.m.
September 30: Old Rochester, 6:30 PM
October 7th: Old Colony, 6:30 PM
October 14th: Somerset Berkeley, 6:30pm
October 22nd: Aponeke, 6pm
October 28: Dayton – Rehoboth, 6:30 PM
November 24th: Diman, 10 am