Athletes have long used their platform as a means to draw awareness to a cause they consider important. The eyeblack with an area code to acknowledge where they came from, or a gospel passage that’s meaningful. The flag or ribbon of a color that’s attached to a specific cause. Or the name or initials of someone meaningful. Lacrosse players most often place symbols like these on the cage of their helmet. A look at uniforms in the PLL this year, and you’ll likely see support for Black Lives Matter, or the Iroquois National Team and other causes related to social justice. You’ll also see a set of initials you may not recognize. On the mask of Matt Gaudet, you’ll see the initials BPT in a shamrock.
Brendan Patrick Tevlin graduated from Seton Hall Prep in 2013. He played lacrosse, was a member of the National Honor Society, President of the Gaelic Society, and carried a 4.0 GPA all four years. He volunteered with Best Buddies, and volunteered as a ski instructor for Special Olympics. Brendan also was a bagpiper with the Essex County Shillelagh Pipes and Drums band. Brendan was a young man full of life with a tremendously bright future.
In June 2014, in the summer after his first year at University of Richmond, Brendan was driving home from a friend’s house when three men approached his car at an intersection and shot Brendan several times, killing him in cold blood.
Brendan’s brother, Brian, is the current captain of the Yale lacrosse team. An outstanding young man in his own right, Brian notably missed a portion of the 2019 season because he donated bone marrow as part of Be The Match. It was Yale lacrosse that connected Gaudet to the Tevlin family.
“I was one of the first people Brian met at Yale. I had heard through him, and then it had gone through our team that the festival was going on,” said Gaudet.
Of the shamrock and BPT, Gaudet says it’s about Brendan and his family, “I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet Brendan, he died in June 2014. It’s really about the goodness in the Tevlins to try and promote the message. The Tevlins have been incredible in their community, and his passing really struck a nerve in that community,” Gaudet said.
It was LaxStraps that approached Gaudet with the idea of wearing something, and Gaudet decided he would do his best for Brendan and the Tevlin family, and try to raise awareness to their cause. He hadn’t worn anything prior to this year. “I’ve been fortunate enough to not be near to too many tragic situations, but I thought of Brendan and his festival every year. So I had them customize a BPT, #12 shamrock. Lax Straps was really great about it. The main goal is to bring awareness to Brendan, the festival, and his message,” Gaudet said, adding that he spoke to Brian before adding the BPT to his helmet to get the Tevlin family’s blessing.
“I really wanted this to be represented in pro lacrosse,” Guadet added.
The Festival that happens every year takes place at Seton Hall Prep on what is now called Brendan Tevlin field. Brendan went to Richmond for his freshman year, and over the summer after that first year, he had the idea to put together a pickup lacrosse game. He never got to see his idea realized, but the Brendan Tevlin Lacrosse Festival now takes place annually in his memory. In recent years, it’s draws hundreds of people in attendance.
“It’s [a festival] for people of all ages, all skills. Men, women, kids. The idea was to create this type of reunion event within the lacrosse community. Embrace good vibes and easy living,” Gaudet said.
The Good Vibes & Easy Living Foundation was started in Brendan’s memory, which raises money for charities that were important to Brendan, including JustinTime, Where Angels Play, and Be The Match.
For more information about the Good Vibes & Easy Living Foundation, and to learn about getting involved and offering support, visit https://www.goodvibeseasyliving.org/.