When coach Andrew Arki speaks about Thomas Sullivan you can’t help but picture one of the warriors from the movie “300” lining up to go to battle. Arki believes that “Sully” is one of the toughest players he has ever coached, and a great leader for the Bourne High boys’ soccer team.
“He’s a workhorse,” the coach said.
Sullivan, who is a key defender for the boys’ soccer team as well as a member of the boys’ basketball and tennis teams, is certainly resilient. After breaking his leg last season he has returned to the squad as a senior captain and has not missed a beat.
Thomas is the son of Colleen Sullivan. He said that math is his favorite subject in school and that his car is his most-prized possession. He works part-time at Pocasset Golf Club and loves the TV show “How I Met Your Mother.” His go-to meal is chicken alfredo.
How did you get involved with soccer? How much do you enjoy it? What was your role on the team?
I first started playing soccer when I was very little, and it was more my mother signing me up and making me go; but the more time I’ve spent playing, the more I love the sport. I love soccer with everything I have, because it truly has been the one thing that has always been there for me when I’m down. I feel my role on the team is setting the tone as one of the hard-working defenders that people look at as one of our captains.
The season has just started, what are your expectations for the team? What can you do to help the squad get there?
I feel we can definitely make the playoffs and win a game or two with how we’ve been playing as of late because this team’s chemistry is just so good. We just have such a good time. I feel I have to be the aggressor for the team and set the tone because I feel when I’m going at 200 percent, everyone is right there with me.
Last year you broke your leg playing and had to miss the season. How difficult was it to be a spectator rather than a player, and what has the rehab process been like? Do you feel like you are all the way back?
Watching from the sidelines and just being able to be out there with my team was really frustrating, and us not winning a game just made it that much harder, but this also motivated me to get back to my form as soon as I could. The rehab was a lot of patience and self-treatments to make sure I could get back to the sport I love. At the beginning of the season I felt a bit off with how I was playing, but now I’m right back to where I was.
You also play basketball and tennis for Bourne. What have those experiences been like, and how much do you look forward to returning to those games this year?
Basketball has been great for me, but I know that my role for basketball isn’t as important as it is in soccer, but I still love to play it, and my teammates make it just that much more enjoyable. Tennis is all jokes. Me and my friends decided to play tennis because we didn’t have a spring sport to play, so we signed up and this has to be one of the best decisions I have made in my high school career. Tennis is much more lighthearted than the other two sports, and I’m not good at all, but it could quite possibly be the most fun I have ever had.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
I think the scouting report would say how I’m a very scrappy, hardworking defender who puts his heart out on the field, who can hold up the best players from making a play.
Of all the games that you have ever played in, is there one that stands out as the best? Why?
One game that really stands out to me is a game in my sophomore year which we played Mashpee. That game we had one player that came from Mashpee, and wasn’t treated the best at that school, so we took it upon ourselves to make sure they realized that they lost a real teammate, and that he was one of us. Coach came up to me and told me that he wanted me to lead from the defensive end. Being the only sophomore on the team at the time, I couldn’t really lead a team full of seniors, but I put it on myself to be the best and most vocal leader I could be to that team. Early in the game we went up by one and after that the game became a defensive-minded game plan. We fought on every split down the middle, corner kick, and one-on-one but we would not budge and on every single play I was communicating and making tackles, and we won that game 1-0. After coach gave his classic 30-minute speech, and at the end he gave me my first player of the match, which meant a lot, and is why this is the game that stands out.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
Being named junior captain of the team was my highlight because it made me feel like my team truly believed in me.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
The best teammate I have ever had probably has to be my teammate for the last eight years, Stefan Lumsden. He is a work horse who pushes himself to the limit every single day and he’s not the biggest person, but that doesn’t stop him from going against anyone in his way. I truly thank him for the player I am today.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
Three pieces of gum at the start of the day, and spit it out right before the game.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The best teammates are the ones who aren’t afraid to give criticism and the best players are the ones who accept it.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? Why?
Super Speed, easily, because I can’t lose a fight and I can be wherever I want.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my mother because she works so hard on her own to keep me safe, and I wouldn’t be able to play soccer without her.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of visiting? Why?
My family can’t really travel anywhere fun, but going to a different country would be sick to see just how different other parts of the world are.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
I would tell my freshman self to take things slower because time flies by in high school.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I’m a really big RomCom guy.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
I would switch with the president just so I can learn the secrets of our country that nobody knows.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
Spending an entire day with my friends and trying things we’ve never done before.
What are your post high school plans?
I want to go to college as a paramedic, then,after spending some time in that field, move into firefighting to live my dream job.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself starting to settle down with a solid job and being able to put all my family in a better situation.