Sports Person of the Week
Sachs Always Gives it His All with the Hornets
Dylan Sachs is starting at shooting guard while leading the Branford boys’ basketball team as a senior captain this season. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Sachs)
Dylan Sachs has been a member of the Branford boys’ basketball varsity team since his freshman year at the high school. After putting in 100 percent every time he entered the gym, Dylan has earned a starting role as a senior captain with the Hornets this winter.
While growing up, Dylan watched all five of his older sisters competing for various Branford teams, including volleyball, soccer, and basketball. Dylan always had an interest in sports and wanted to follow in his sisters’ footsteps.
“Having a large family, everyone has always been involved in Branford sports. I wanted to continue the tradition,” says Dylan. “I was always into sports. It has always been one of my passions.”
Dylan started playing basketball in Branford’s youth league when he was three, after which he began participating in travel basketball as a 2nd-grader. Dylan continued with travel until he spent three seasons playing at Walsh Intermediate School. By playing so much basketball, Dylan was able to make strong connections with both his coaches and teammates.
Throughout this time, Dylan was also playing soccer and baseball. As a senior, he served as a captain for the Branford boys’ soccer squad this past fall. When it comes to basketball, Dylan loves the pace and attitude of the game.
“I always liked how competitive basketball was. I’m very competitive, and it brings out the best in me,” Dylan says. “I always put 100 percent into the game. I like that side of things and how it’s fast. You have to work together as a team.”
As a freshman, Dylan joined the Hornets and made the varsity roster as a shooting guard. Shooting guard has always been Dylan’s position, and he likes how he can both score the ball and help facilitate the offense while he’s manning at that spot. Dylan didn’t see too many varsity minutes during his freshman season, although he was able to get a solid idea of what it would take for him to succeed on the big stage.
“It was nerve-wracking, but it was very cool. It was cool to play varsity a little bit as a freshman,” says Dylan. “It has helped me build my experience all of these years. My coach wanted to put me in a better position for now.”
Dylan began starting varsity games for Branford as a junior. Now, in his senior season, Dylan has become the Hornets’ full-time starting varsity shooting guard. Dylan says that he’s learned to calm down on the court over the years, while also working hard to become a better leader both on and off the floor.
“I’ve settled down. I’m more relaxed,” Dylan says. “Throughout my four years, every time I went in, I always wanted to give 110 percent. I wanted to leave it all out on the floor. I know the game. I talk more now. I use my voice. I try to be a leader out there.”
Head Coach Chris Burnham says that Dylan competes as hard as anyone, adding that opposing coaches have told him how difficult it is to go up against the senior guard. When it comes to that level of work ethic, Dylan says he learned it from his parents, Betsy and Robert. After watching all the hard work they’ve put in, Dylan wanted to follow his parents’ lead through athletics.
“That kind of mindset came from my parents. My parents always told me to give it my all,” says Dylan. “My dad comes from a family business. I see how hard it works. Every day, he tries to give support. I’m influenced by him.”
In addition to being a varsity starter, Dylan entered his senior season as one of the Hornets’ captains with senior David McDonald. Dylan feels proud to share the title with McDonald.
“I was very honored to be captain with Dave. We work very well together,” Dylan says.
As for his role as captain, “I enjoy leading the team by example on and off the court. I like to use my voice and encourage others to succeed. I want to be a role model for others on the team, and I want to be someone they look up to.”
During his four years at Branford, Dylan has also been a member of the boys’ soccer and baseball teams. As Dylan entered high school, people told him that there was no way he could play three varsity sports. However, Dylan welcomed the challenge and plays with passion for all three of his teams, while balancing his academic workload.
“Everyone says it’s very hard to play three sports. I like it because, each season, I’m very interested in that sport,” says Dylan. “The next sport doesn’t get old. I get very into it and am passionate for that season. I give it all and rest.
“Rather than having one sport, I have a variety,” he continues. “It was hard playing all three with schoolwork, but I managed and found a way.”
Whether it’s basketball, baseball, or soccer, Dylan loves wearing a jersey that reads Branford across the front. Dylan feels honored to represent his hometown and is looking to help Hornets’ boys’ hoops have a big season this year.
“I’m very honored to represent Branford. I hope I can make the Branford community proud with what I’ve done in all of my sports,” Dylan says. “For basketball, I hope I can help show the Branford community that Branford basketball is back.”