Brian Josephson shined in the classroom and on the athletic fields at Tigard High School

by: DAN BROOD - MULTI-TALENTED -- Brian Josephson competed in soccer, basketball and tennis as a Tigard senior.TIGARD — Brian Josephson is big into sports.

All year long, Josephson, who graduated from Tigard High School earlier this month, wants to compete.

Soccer, basketball and tennis — he’s out there giving it his all.

Brian Josephson is big into academics.

Studying, learning, achieving and excelling — in the classroom, he’s again giving it his all.

And, Josephson says, it’s no coincidence that he’s been able to find success — a lot of success — in both athletics and academics.

In fact, he insists, strongly, that one has to do with another.

“My focus is on academics,” Josephson said as he sat in the grandstands overlooking the Tigard High School soccer field. “But I couldn’t do all of the schoolwork without sports. I think that sports give me an outlet. They calm me down. It’s something that I really recommend.

“I really think that a balance of high-level sports and academics is important. It’s too bad that it’s discouraged.”

Some may scoff at the notion that students can excel at a high level both in academics and athletics — especially when it comes to being a multi-sport athlete.

But, if you want proof to the contrary, all you have to do is look at Josephson’s smiling face.

As a Tigard senior, he had a big year for the Tiger boys soccer, basketball and tennis teams. In addition, he was the Tigard Class of 2013 valedictorian, sporting a 4.0 grade-point average while taking a full International Baccalaureate program. Oh yeah, Josephson also was a Tigard homecoming prince as a senior.

“That’s all absolutely remarkable,” Tigard High School boys basketball coach Shawn Alderman said of Josephson’s achievements. “People don’t realize how hard that is to do.”

“Yeah, it’s been a pretty special year,” Josephson said with a smile.

And, Josephson says, it was the combination of athletics and academics that helped make it so special.

“I probably couldn’t do one without the other,” he said. “Academics keep me focused and busy. Sports clear my head. They give me something to look forward to. I love it. I love the challenge.”

Sure, that sounds good — but how do you manage to excel at both?

“The more busy I am, the better time management I have,” Josephson said. “If you manage your time correctly, you have free time. I have a social life.”

And he also has a lot of achievements.

Now, Josephson has one more achievement, as he has been chosen as The Times’ Athlete of the Year from Tigard High School. The honor goes to the top senior-class athlete, as seen by The Times, at the school for the 2012-2013 school year.

“Brian was the kind of student-athlete every coach and team aspires to have,” Tigard boys soccer coach Tracy Hasson said. “Not only was he an incredible athlete and extremely talented defender, he was a leader that set a good example for others to follow.”

“I had a lot of fun at Tigard,” Josephson said. “I tried to keep well-rounded and push myself to the highest level I could. You only live once.”

by: DAN BROOD - THE CAPTAIN -- Brian Josephson served as team captain for the Tigard High School boys soccer team.A leader on the pitch

Josephson had been on the Tigard High School boys soccer varsity roster ever since he was a freshman. But, this past fall, as a senior, he found himself facing a different role — that of team captain.

“That was a new experience for me,” he said. “I loved it. It was great to see the guys grow, and we really had to pull together at the end of the season.”

Josephson seemed to excel in his role as team captain and leader.

“Brian inspired the best efforts out of his teammates in such a positive and productive way,” Hasson said. “He knew how to keep himself grounded and not cross any lines while holding people accountable. I will be using Brian as my benchmark on how a captain should be for years to come. What he was able to do and the way he carried himself is what I wish for every player.”

The youthful Tiger team went through some growing pains early in the season. The squad also faced adversity as, midway through the season, it found out it had to forfeit three early-season wins and a tie due to unknowingly using an ineligible player.

“The season started off rough,” said Josephson, who started at center back for the Tigers. “We had injuries and issues. We had to overcome adversity, but I think that made us better. In a way, it helped us out in the end — I tend to think big picture.”

The Tigers entered the Class 6A state playoffs with a 2-10-2 record (they placed fourth in the final Pacific Conference standings at 2-3-2 to earn an automatic state bid). They faced a daunting task to open postseason play, as they had to travel to play Lincoln, the overall No. 5 seed, in a first-round playoff match.

But the young Tigard team, with Josephson being the only senior in the Tiger starting line-up, threw quite a scare into the Cardinals.

The Tigers held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in that match. Lincoln tied the match with 12 minutes and 28 seconds left to play in the contest.

The Cardinals then got the winning goal with 3:23 showing on the clock.

Lincoln, after surviving the scare, went on to make it all the way to the Class 6A state championship match.

“That was all I could ask for,” Josephson said of the Tigers’ playoff match at Lincoln. “In the playoffs, every team except one loses its last game, but to play our best at the end was special.”

Josephson, for his play on the season, earned first-team All-Pacific Conference accolades while shining on defense for the Tigers.

“I have often described Brian as ‘irreplaceable,’” Hasson said. “He won more tackles and headers than anyone on the field and basically did the job of two defenders. He was the most important player on the team.”

But, it sounds like something else may have meant more to Josephson than the high praise his all-league honor.

“I’ve been on the varsity team for four years, and I always looked up to someone,” he said. “To have the leadership role this year was a good way to end my high school soccer career.”

Playing hard on the hardwood

Going from soccer to basketball isn’t an easy transition, but it’s one that Josephson DAN BROOD - HUSTLING -- Brian Josephson went all out for the Tigard boys basketball team.

“It’s a completely different atmosphere than soccer,” Josephson said. “But I enjoyed it. It’s a sport where I can work hard and earn my playing time.”

As an undersized 6-foot-1 post, Josephson definitely had to put in a lot of effort in order to see action with the talented Tigard team. That was OK with him.

“I just go in and work hard when I’m in there,” he said. “I’m a scrappy player. If I do what I do, I’ll get minutes.”

Tigard boasted a team of players, including a strong group of seniors that knew their role on the team. For Josephson, that meant coming off the bench and playing intense defense all the time he was on the court.

The Tigers went on to claim the Pacific Conference championship with a perfect 14-0 record in league play.

“That was a great way to end,” Josephson said.

And, according to Alderman, Josephson did his part for the team in its title-winning season.

“He’s a smart player, and his biggest asset was how hard he played. He always gave 100 percent,” Alderman said. “Brian is a great kid who always worked hard and got the most out of his abilities.”

“Coach Alderman was a really good influence,” Josephson said. “His one rule was that, with every action, on and off the court, think of the team instead of yourself. I love all the coaches.”

Tennis anyone?

Josephson first joined the Tigard boys tennis team as a junior.

“I joined just to do it,” he said. “It’s a calming, enjoyable season. And it’s a huge contrast from basketball.”by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - AT THE NET -- Brian Josephson played at No. 1 doubles for the Tigard boys tennis team.

As a junior, Josephson formed a doubles team with Andrew Roluffs, who has been his friend since kindergarten. They played at No. 2 doubles for the Tigers in 2012.

This year, they moved up to play at No. 1 doubles.

Their doubles team got what Josephson called “unlucky seeding” at the Pacific Conference district tournament, but they still earned first-team all-district honors.

“Tennis is a great way to relax and have fun,” Josephson said.

The Tigers also won the Dairy Farmers of Oregon Academic All-State Award for boys tennis, sporting a 3.8 grade-point average as a team.

“We had a very fun team, and a very smart team,” Josephson said.

Big games with the Wolves

Josephson played in plenty of big games and matches during his time at Tigard High School.

But there were some certain big games that Josephson said he’ll always remember.

“Those Tigard-Tualatin basketball games were always special,” he said. “There was nothing like it. There was a big sense of pride. You were playing for your school with hundreds of people watching you. The rivalry was such a big deal, and both teams always played as hard as they could.”

There were other special memories.

by: DAN BROOD - EXCELLING -- Brian Josephson was a three-sport athlete and valedictorian at Tigard High School. “I will remember my teammates forever,” Josephson said. “Team bonding was a special thing. I’ve lived in Tigard my whole life, and I’ve played with some of these guys since elementary school.”

Family support, competition

Brian Josephson says his parents, Gregg and Joyce Josephson, have been a driving force in his success in the classroom and on the athletic fields.

“They’re been really supportive,” he said. “They’ve never pressured me and they’ve really helped me. I appreciate my parents and how they kept an open mind about doing multiple sports.”

Brian also finds support from his younger sister, Rachel, who is a Tigard High School sophomore-to-be. However, there’s also some competition between the siblings.

“She wants to get more varsity letters than me,” Brian Josephson said with a laugh.

The older brother earned seven letters at Tigard — four in soccer, two in tennis and one in basketball.

Younger sister earned varsity letters in both soccer and track this past year as a Tigard freshman. She also plays basketball.

“She’s on pace to get me,” Brian said.

A Beaver-to-be

Josephson will be attending Oregon State University starting in the fall, looking to major in bioengineering.

“I’m interested in science, and this will give me flexibility to change fields if I want to,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes.”

He also says he’ll stay active in sports, playing intramurals at OSU.

“Running, soccer, tennis, basketball — I want to keep at it,” Josephson said.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

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