Souhegan’s Geffrard goes from manager to starter in one year

AMHERST – As far as lacrosse managers go, Andersen Geffrard might have been a tad ordinary.

If you watched Souhegan High senior at all through the football and hoop seasons, little about Geffrard could be labeled as that. The two-sport, second-team all-Division II selection is anything but ordinary.

So when Geffrard told Sabers’ lax coach Keith Bertrand of his desire to give the game a try, as a player, he had to be intrigued.

So far, the returns have been nothing short of exceptional for Geffrard, who hadn’t ever picked up a stick until last spring.

“I was always more of a baseball kid,” said the football safety and basketball point guard. “I played up until my sophomore year. But I just wasn’t feeling it anymore.

“Last year, I asked the coach if I could be the manager, just because I have a lot of friends from football on the team.”

Geffrard found himself with time on his hands at practice, and when Saber Dante Savo was sidelined with an injury, he also had a partner to play catch … Catch, as in the lax version of catch, with a ball-and-stick as opposed to ball-and-glove.

“We played a lot of catch, and we kept playing catch,” said Geffrard. “Then I had friends roll out ground balls to me, and learned that. Finally, I learned how to cradle the ball correctly. That one I kind of taught myself.”

Bertrand obviously liked what he saw, and he immediately told Geffrard that defensive midfielder would be the perfect position fit.

“It’s a lot like basketball because of the defensive footwork, which is very similar,” said Geffrard, who is hoping to play basketball as a recruited walk-on at Division II Merrimack College next year.

“When you’re in a zone, it’s a lot of help and recover, so I picked that up quickly.

“I’m also pretty good on ground balls. I’m a physical guy, who gets in there and digs it out.”

Geffrard also has pretty good wheels. He plays up at midfield on faces in the position where he is first to many loose balls on the ground.

“The speed helps out a lot,” he said.

Because he’s a defensive specialist, his impact might be hard to quantify. Don’t try telling that to Bertrand.

In a recent win over Nashua South, Bertrand noted, “he came up with some really big plays for us, the kind of plays that lead to goals, and that leads to wins.”

Last Monday’s lost to defending state champ Bishop Guertin was a milestone night for Geffrard, who picked up his first career point, an assist.

“It came early in the game, so it really got everyone pumped up,” Geffrard said.

Most of all, Geffrard is competing at a high level, and he’s doing it among friends. There has been no friction for the new guy. He’s been accepted, and he’s having fun.

“I like the physical part of it, and I’m playing with a lot of kids I know from football. The camaraderie is incredible,” he said. “I came in thinking I wasn’t going to play a lot, but I put in a lot of work. Coach put me on first line with the middies. And the kids on the team have shown me nothing but support. They love it when I win ground balls.”