LIVINGSTON, NJ — It has been an eventful year so far for Livingston resident Brian Tevlin, who is about to start his first semester as a junior at Yale University.
Tevlin, a 2017 graduate of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, followed a storied lacrosse career in high school with two distinguished seasons for the Yale lacrosse team, although he took some time off at the beginning of the 2019 Ivy League season for a selfless cause.
Tevlin discovered he was a match for a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant, so, in March, he donated as part of Be The Match, which helped earn him recognition as the One Love Foundation's Unsung Hero. He was also given Yale’s Dan Casman Award for team spirit and morale.
"I signed up in high school to be a donor," said Tevlin. "There was a drive in high school and it was for a good cause, so that's why I did it. A few years later, I got a text that I was a potential match for somebody in need, and I was asked if I would donate."
On the One Love Foundation website, it explains that Tevlin accepted the match and scheduled surgery two weeks later because he was "inspired by the story of his friend’s mother, who was saved by a million-to-one donor."
"His decision to ensure another family wouldn’t suffer, in the middle of the season as a starting midfielder on the defending national championship team, is the definition of unsung," the website says of Tevlin.
After missing several games following his donation, Tevlin returned in time to have an impact on a stellar Yale season for the second consecutive year.
"The surgery worked out fairly well," he said. "They went in with a needle, inserted two needles into each side of my lower back. It hurt a bit for a day or so, but it definitely could have been a lot worse. I was out of the hospital in one day.
"The timing worked out really well for me to come back and start playing again. When I came back, it took about three weeks to feel totally normal and 100 percent again. The first week was pushing it a bit. It was all up to how I was feeling as to when I came back and how much I could play."
Tevlin scored a career-best four goals in a victory over the University of Michigan. Then, in Yale's biggest victory of the season, Tevlin scored one goal and had one assist in a 21-17 triumph over Penn State in the 2019 Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship Semifinals in Philadelphia in May.
As a freshman at Yale, Tevlin played in every game. He scored a goal in Yale's 2018 NCAA national championship victory over Duke. He has now participated in two national championship games in his first two years at Yale.
"It is awesome, a real blessing and tough to believe it worked out so well my first two years [at Yale]," said Tevlin, a Political Science major. "Now I'll have to try to live up to that again in my third year."
Championship-caliber play, however, was hardly foreign to Tevlin even long before he arrived in New Haven. During his four years at Seton Hall Prep, Tevlin achieved a 4.0 grade-point average in the classroom and had 108 career goals and 116 career assists on the boys lacrosse team. During his senior year, Tevlin was an All-American and All-USA Today Second-Team in lacrosse in addition to being an Academic All-American.
Tevlin, a varsity letterwinner for four years in high school, helped his team win the Essex County Championship in each of those four years. He also owns the record for most points (97) in a single season at Seton Hall Prep, where he was team captain in his junior and senior seasons.
This Saturday, Aug. 3, a lacrosse tournament to be played at the Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field at Seton Hall Prep in honor of Brian's late brother will also include a Be The Match registry for participants.
The Brendan Tevlin Lacrosse Festival, named for the Seton Hall Prep graduate—and Brian's older brother—who died as the result of a random terrorist attack five years ago, runs from 11:30 a.m. until the late afternoon. It includes lacrosse games with girls teams, boys youth teams, high-school age teams and men's teams.
In addition to the tournament and Be The Match swabbing, there will also be a barbecue, auctions, mini-games run by Parabolic, face-painting and music at the festival, which has been held six times since Brendan's untimely death.
Days before Brendan died while home from college for the summer, the Seton Hall Prep graduate had come up with the idea of holding a pickup lacrosse game to bring some of his old friends back together. Brendan's simple idea has since turned into an annual charity event that raises funds for various causes, one of which included assisting in the renovation of the turf field at his alma mater that now bears his name.
Brian said he will likely be among the many community members from throughout the Essex County community and beyond to participate in Saturday's tournament. Funds from the sixth annual event will benefit the Brendan Tevlin Memorial Fund.