When freshmen Brandon Sullivan and Guerby Lambert first met in their biology class, they barely talked beyond the occasional group assignment or classroom acknowledgment. Four years later, the two have built a bond on the football field that has transcended the game and will most certainly extend beyond their CM years.
The first real conversation between the two took place towards the end of winter 2020 when the football team wanted Lambert, who played soccer, to join them for the 2021 season. After defensive coach Mike Milo saw Lambert walking in the hallway (he’s 6’7” and weighs 290lbs), Sullivan, who was already on the team, was given the assignment to recruit Lambert for the offensive line.
“I sat in the back row and Guerby sat in the front. He was always quiet and doing his work. My first impression of him was his size, and he seemed like he could be a great fit for football. Because he was quiet and loved soccer, it took some convincing for him to play,” recalls Sullivan. Lambert accepted, seeing it as a chance for himself, who didn’t know many people at his new school, to make some friends.
As teammates, Lambert and Sullivan quickly built a bond. While difficult for the two to see one another outside of school (Lambert’s hometown is Medway and Sullivan’s is Norwood…an hour apart) they have found other ways to socialize. While online, they often play the video game Rainbow Six together. During the summer, they use a strength and conditioning facility in Foxboro as a halfway meeting point to workout together. And when school is in session, it’s common to find the two at practice, in the same AP classes, at lunch, and doing their homework together.
With the growth of their friendship, Sullivan learned that Lambert may not have a lot to say when he’s in a group. Still, once he’s comfortable in an environment and with people he trusts, that’s when he opens up and allows his friends’ humorous observations to turn his often-stoic facial expression into a smile. Likewise, Lambert realized that while Sullivan may be loud and intimidating on the field when the game ends, he is kind and wants to be there for his friends. “Brandon is always checking on us to see how we are doing,” says Lambert. “Whenever I’ve gotten an injury, he’s texted me right away. I know he’s always been there for his teammates. There was one person who struggled with some personal challenges, this year, and Brandon was there to help him.”
As football team captains, both men pushed each other to not settle for what they have and strive to be better. Sullivan became known for keeping people in check, letting his teammates know through fierce communication when he thinks they are not giving a hundred percent. Lambert, on the other hand, speaks with his actions, preferring to lead by example and work as more of a behind-the-scenes leader.
“We both have leadership roles on that line,” notes Lambert. “We see it more as fun than pressure. It’s more about developing the offensive line because when everyone is on the same page, that is when the offense works.”
At times that friendship can be brutally honest, if one of them misses a block, the other will let them hear it in between plays or during in-game conversations with their position coach, Patrick Carney. They also keep each other out of trouble, as there have been a few times Lambert has walked Sullivan away from a scrum with a reminder to do his talking with his pads, not his mouth.
As their senior year approached, both men began to receive offers to play Division 1 football. Lambert committed to Notre Dame and Sullivan chose Harvard. For a moment, they thought about playing for the same university, but after conversations with their families, decided it was best to go their separate ways.
From a young age, Sullivan could be found on a football field each fall, yet, growing up, it was the furthest thing from the mind of Lambert. Despite their uniquely different paths, when they graduate, they will have completed one of the best runs in CM football history, which saw them win two MIAA Division 2 Super Bowls, claim the number 1 ranking during a COVID-shortened season, earn places on several all-conference, all-state, and all-scholastic teams, create a friendship that has gone beyond football and changed the course of Lambert’s life.
“This was an experience that brought us closer not just as teammates but as friends,” says Sullivan. “This is something I won’t forget, and I think Guerby and I will be friends for a long time to come.”