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BVT’s Picard Stands Out at Shriners

Julian Picard had always planned on training hard this summer. The Blackstone Valley Tech grad from Upton had just finished a standout summer on the baseball diamond and is headed to Mass Maritime Academy in mid-August to play football. He got a little boost, however, when BVT head football coach Glenn Arnold told him he had been selected to play in the 12th Annual Shrine Chowder Bowl Classic, an All-Star game between the best players from Central and Western Massachusetts.
"I was really happy, all I had ever heard about were kids playing in that game from the big name schools in Central Mass, so I didn't think I would make it," said Picard. "Coach told me I was in, so I started really training hard."
The game takes place in late June and is a benefit for the Shriners Hospitals for children, which provide orthopedic and burn care to children under the age of 18. It is a collection of the best talent among the area's graduating seniors. "Playing in the game was a big boost to work harder," said Picard. "I had never played on a team where everyone was the best player, it really brought me to another level."
The Central Mass team practiced every day for more than a week at Westboro High School, and Picard, a standout running back for the Beavers, noticed the different caliber of competition right away. "In the Colonial League, I could get away with things I could not get away with here," he said. "If I tried to bounce off a tackle and go to the outside, it seemed like there were always three other guys waiting there, so I had to learn to adapt to the faster game."
Picard, and the rest of the Central Mass team that included Nipmuc graduate Darren Moore, also had to get used to new teammates in a hurry. "The first day everyone was trying to size each other up," said Picard. "Usually these are guys I would be playing against and trying to hit as hard as I can, but now they were my teammates."
Picard and his teammates pulled out a 14-6 win over the Western Mass All-Stars. Picard said he was surprised at how well he played, given that he came from one of the smallest schools represented. He estimated he finished with around 50 yards on eight carries. He'll move on now to MMA and it's military-like structure that will include their version of boot camp during the upcoming August mornings and football practice in the afternoon. He said he chose Mass-Maritime because of its job placement record and a desire to major in marine engineering.
"Football will be fun, but the 100 percent job placement on graduation was the most important thing for me," he said. "College is an investment, and I don't want to graduate and not do anything. I really like that they help set you up for success."




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