NISKAYUNA — It's the rare occasion that a freshmen makes the Niskayuna boys' varsity lacrosse roster, and even more so when that youngster earns a starting role for one of the top programs in the state.
Brock Behrman joined the select few this season, and through three games, the attackman has shown why.
"His knowledge of the game is way beyond his years," Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang said. "His lacrosse IQ is excellent. The biggest thing, though, is his competitiveness."
Behrman has the stick skills, too, which he began honing when he was in first grade growing up in Long Island.
"He can beat you in a lot of ways," Vorgang said. "He can score. He can pass."
Behrman collected four assists and a goal when Niskayuna beat Shenendehowa 14-2 on Saturday at Union College in Schenectady, where Behrman's father Jeff serves as the Dutchmen's head football coach. Earlier this season, Behrman popped in four goals and set up two when Niskayuna opened its season with a 21-1 victory over Albany.
"Our upperclassmen help a lot by being in the right spots. They're a good bunch to work with," said Behrman, who is joined at attack by junior Finn McCullough and senior Drew Collins, while Niskayuna's starting offensive midfield includes seniors Griffin King, Gabe Nish and Dan Brownell. "They make it easier for me."
For the season, Behrman has six goals and a team-leading nine assists for the unbeaten Silver Warriors.
"I want to play my role," said the 5-foot-5, 145-pound Behrman. "Do as much as I can for the team. Let the game come to me."
Behrman came to the Niskayuna school district in 2016 when his father was named the 36th head coach of the Union football team.
"My dad sees a lot of things on and off the field that help me," Behrman said.
Jeff Behrman spent 10 years as an assistant football coach at Stony Brook before heading to Union. At the time of his Union hiring, he'd said Niskayuna was an attractive location for his family because of the school's high level of academics and athletics — and Vorgang is happy to have Brock Behrman on the Silver Warriors' roster.
"He does what coaches' sons do," Vorgang said. "He's in the right spots at the right times. He's thinking three passes ahead. He'll come over and tell me what's going on on the field, what the other team is doing and how they are sliding."
Behrman played on Niskayuna's junior varsity team last season as an eighth-grader, and joined Vorgang's varsity group for its postseason run that culminated in a state semifinal appearance. Along the way, Behrman saw action as part of the Silver Warriors' man-up unit.
"It felt great to get out there," Behrman said. "That gave me confidence. I felt comfortable with them."
"On the JV, he had over 100 points," Vorgang said. "When we brought him up for the sectionals, he fit right in. He probably belonged here last year."
Lucas Quinn (2014), Aidan O'Brien (2012) and Dan McKinney (2006) started as freshmen for Niskayuna and each of them earned All-American honors later in their high school careers. Vorgang envisions great things for Behrman, too.
"He is going to be really, really good," Vorgang said.
Niskayuna's varsity roster also includes freshman attacker Caden Padelford. In a reserve role, Padelford has picked up two goals and four assists so far this season.
"He had over 100 points on the JV, as well," Vorgang said. "He is another guy you'll be hearing about."