MULTITASKING: Allen Bryant competed in football and lacrosse during his career at Princeton High. Bryant ’10, who starred in both sports as well as indoor track, is being inducted into the 15th class of the Princeton High School Athletic Hall of Fame at a banquet this Saturday at Mercer Oaks Country Club in West Windsor.
By Bill Alden
When Allen Bryant entered Princeton High in 2006, he wasn’t focused on what he could accomplish in his athletic career.
“I looked up to the seniors when I was a freshman,” Bryant said, noting that he was particularly inspired by one of those seniors, Tyler Moni, who went on to play for the men’s lacrosse program. Princeton University. “The reality is I didn’t have any specific goals, just do my best.”
Over the next four years, Bryant established himself as one of the best all-around athletes in PHS history.
On the football field, he helped the Tigers go undefeated in 2009 en route to the Group 3 state title. Bryant was a starting defender on the team, scoring the game-winning goal in the 2009 title game. State and earning Third Team All-State honors.
In the winter, Bryant took his talents to indoor track, where he ran the 200 and 400 meters and helped the 4×400 relay earn a spot in the Meet of Champions.
Bryant made perhaps his greatest impact in lacrosse where he scored over 100 goals, was named an All-American, 1st team All-State, CVC Player of the Year in 2010 and was a two-time All-Selection. HVAC. He scored 68 goals his senior year and helped the team advance to the Group 3 state title game during a 17-win season, tying the school record.
This Saturday, Bryant will be inducted into the 15th class of the Princeton High School Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet at Mercer Oaks Country Club in West Windsor.
In addition to Bryant, the Class of 2023 also includes: Carl Lutz ’31, all-state football and basketball player and captain of the 1931 Class B basketball team; Peter Nichols ’74, a star runner who competed in cross country, indoor and outdoor track; Michelle Bazile ’14, an all-state performer who is the school record holder in the shot put and discus and the 2014 shot put winner at the Meet of Champions; the 1931 boys basketball team, which won the Class B state title; the 2012 boys swim team, which won the Division B state title; Coach Greg Hand, longtime head coach of the women’s soccer teams and the men’s and women’s swim teams; and contributor Bill Alden, longtime Town Topics sports editor who has covered PHS athletics for more than two decades.
For Bryant, having a twin brother, Doug, to play and compete with helped him become a versatile performer.
“I feel incredibly lucky to not only be a twin, but to have a twin brother who shares the same athletic interests as me,” Bryant said of his brother, who later played for the men’s lacrosse program from the University of Michigan. “Doug and I started playing at the same time and we still play today. We had a good competition which allowed us both to push each other to give our best. I remember countless hours shooting lacrosse balls in our backyard, often with one of us in goal while the other shot tennis balls at full speed to see who could score more. on the other.
Playing for some legendary PHS coaches also helped Bryant become a legendary competitor
“I was fortunate to have fantastic coaches, like Peter Stanton and Wayne Sutcliffe,” said Bryant, who was mentored by Stanton in lacrosse and Sutcliffe in football. “It was about recognizing the work and preparation that needs to be done to become an elite team as well as the work ethic you need to truly be successful.”
Reflecting on his success on the lacrosse field, Bryant credited the bond he had in the spring of 2010 with the offensive unit consisting of classmates Michael Olentine, Joe Sandford and his brother Doug.
“It was an absolutely composed attacking and midfield line, between the three forwards they scored 180 goals that year,” Bryant said. “I had 68, so between the four of us we scored around 250 goals. What was really cool, dozens and dozens of times, probably hundreds, was running on a fast break and having the utmost confidence that I could throw it to any of these guys and that there would still be a few passes and the ball. would end up in the back of the net.
Bryant took more inspiration from Coach Stanton. “Playing for Coach Stanton was a highlight of my high school career,” Bryant added. “The passion he brought to the game of lacrosse was contagious – he had incredible energy and love for the game. It was not uncommon for him to run up and down the sidelines or jump up and down with enthusiasm. It was an environment and a team that every player hopes to be a part of.
It was exciting for Bryant to be a part of the legendary 2009 boys soccer team that went undefeated on its way to the state title and was later inducted into the PHS Hall of Fame.
“The talent level on our team was fantastic; the defensive unit has only allowed seven goals in 25 games,” Bryant said. “We came into each game confident and were able to have a lot of fun thanks to the hard work we had put in over the years leading up to senior year. Sometimes it felt like we were playing “backyard football.” Scoring the game-winning goal in the state championship game was a highlight. Sutcliffe had a lot of faith in our team and let us take a lot of risks because of it. In the state championship game, he brought me and a few other defenders in on a corner and myself and another defender scored on different occasions during the game.
After PHS, Bryant went to Vanderbilt University where he played for its club lacrosse program.
“The level of play at Vanderbilt was strong,” Bryant said. “I was president and captain for the last few years, so I was the one running it. It was a great quality of players, many from the North East.
Today, Bryant, 32, lives in New York and is a partner at a venture capital firm, Knightsgate Ventures, which focuses on investing in social impact technology and software companies. As for his sporting activities, he is still competing with his brother Doug as they are participating in a half marathon together this spring and continue to participate in lacrosse tournaments whenever they can.
Even though Bryant’s job keeps him busy and 13 years have passed since he graduated from PHS, the bonds he made during his high school athletic career remain strong.
“I am grateful for the incredible coaches and teams I had the opportunity to play with,” Bryant said. “Many of my teammates remain close friends to this day and we have been a part of each other’s weddings and other big life moments. The camaraderie at the high school level was really special. We are all very close friends.
Bryant is grateful to be inducted into the PHS Hall of Fame and to be part of the school’s special athletic heritage.
“This is a tremendous honor considering the caliber of athletes and teams participating,” Bryant said. “PHS has a remarkable and long-standing history as a powerhouse. What also stood out to me and what I really like is that the Hall of Fame committee is going back and making sure that those who deserve recognition get it.
There is no doubt that Bryant deserves this recognition.