by Russell Cooks
From a very early age, Nate Brown has been destined for big things, both athletically and academically. Now, Nate is in his senior year and through his commitment to excellence, he has a wealth of exciting options laid out before him. The middle linebacker for the Patriot football team is on top of his game and on top of his class.
Asked which gift manifested first, the academic or athletic, Daryl Brown said, “Nathan showed amazing strength and control of his body within a few hours of birth. He was able to roll over, raise his head, and look around. We were always cognizant of his ability to move from that moment.”
Dawn Brown, Nate’s mom, agreed. “We probably noticed the athletic part first. He was born strong. The day he was born, he was able to lift his head and roll over on the bed. I was never able to turn my head away as an infant.”
It wasn’t long before they know they had a dual gifted child. “When Nathan started school it was obvious that he could grasp concepts easily,” remembered Dawn. “His kindergarten teacher wanted to have him skip a grade, but we declined. His first sport was t-ball. Nathan and one other teammate were the only ones actually paying attention and not pulling daisies in the outfield. So, around the age of 3 we noticed his desire to succeed academically and athletically.”
Daryl added, “I do not know exactly, but we would read to our boys from the beginning. Nathan was very attentive, started talking early and could remember details. He was saying football, nearly as soon as he was saying Daddy.”
Juggling academics and athletics
Until last year, Nate played basketball and football.
“I have juggled multiple sports and school assignments since I was 5,” said Nate. “Every year becomes more of a challenge as I take more advanced classes, but I just have to be disciplined. A normal day consists of film or a club meeting before school, classes, practice, dinner, shower, homework, then sleep. There is little extra time in my schedule. “
In addition to being a leader in the classroom and on the field, Nate is also leader in several organizations. He is a member of FBLA (Future Business Leaders Of America), Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society), the National Honor Society, and the Social Circle. Nate actually started the Social Circle Club at Sandy Creek. The club discusses issues about the school, the country, the world, and controversial topics. The club also helps students prepare for college and complete college applications.
While many students were enjoying their summer vacations, Nate was feverishly preparing for his senior year, both academically and athletically.
“I trained the entire summer with the team, trainers, and college coaches at camp to improve my football skills. The football team also started a leadership group where we came together to learn to be better leaders, teammates, and men. Academically, I prepared for and took the ACT and SAT (30 and 1370 respectively), I read several books, and studied ahead for AP Calculus.”
Nate was one of the Junior Marshals that supported the 2016 graduation. In order to be selected as a Junior Marshal, you have to be in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2017.
“It was an honor to be recognized for my hard work in the classroom over the past three years. It was also great to help the seniors with their graduation and observe from a unique angle.”
One more year at The Creek
It will be a bittersweet senior year.
“Time has just blown by me. I am excited I am anxious. I have tried to prepare for ‘empty nest syndrome,’ but will miss him as I miss my oldest son,” said Daryl. “I pray for his safety and continued success, both on and off the field. Sometimes, I wonder if we have done all we could to prepare him for the next period of his life.”
Dawn added, “I have mixed emotions. I am proud of his accomplishments and excited about his future, but I am already consoling myself about the transition that is about to happen in all of our lives. Nathan’s absence in this house will be felt intensely, but we raise them to fly. I know he will be an asset to this world in the choices he makes.”
The same goes for Nate.
“A bit of nostalgia, mixed with some anxiety and excitement to find what the world has to offer me, as well as what I have to offer the world,” he said. “I cherish the opportunity to be a leader of the team, to set the best example I can for the younger guys, and to leave a strong legacy for the team.”
He is going to lead by example.
“My goals are to be a leader of the team and to help lead us to a state championship,” said Nate. “I believe I am, and I have done my best to do so already. I have had to step out of my comfort zone and lead by example by my play on the field and be a vocal leader.”
He’s got big goals in the classroom too.
“I want to have all As. I’m taking 3 AP classes, so I also want to score at least a 4 on each AP exam and raise my weighted GPA over a 4.0.”
Nate has plenty of options to play at the next level.
“Academically, there are dozens. For football: Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, Carleton, and other Ivy League or Ivy League type schools,” said Nate.
The process of choosing his next home is ongoing.
“We visited Brown University this summer. I felt comfortable and welcomed there and I believe Nathan would like it there as well,” said Dawn. “My other choice for Nathan would be Georgia Tech or Clemson.”
Daryl said, “I believe that an Ivy League education can open doors that are not visible to everyone. It is a tremendous opportunity. My preference in order is Brown, Harvard, or the University of Florida (our alma mater).”
Nate is a true Renaissance Man. He goes deeper than just sports and books.
“Most people do not know Nathan is very deep feeling and socially conscious,” said Daryl. “He wants to understand people while hoping for and working for positive change.”
Dawn added, “Nathan is very forgiving. He likes to understand why people behave the way they do before judging them. And, as quiet as it’s kept, he is a romantic.”
He’s thoroughly enjoyed his experience at Sandy Creek.
“Having the opportunity to work along and become friends with all kinds of people,” Nate called his favorite part. “Sandy Creek is a diverse school, and I have definitely benefited from interacting with a wide variety of ideas and perspectives.”
Dawn went on to say, “Nathan has an excellent arm for quarterback or when he was younger he was an excellent catcher in baseball, but he prefers defense.”
Nate Brown likes to hit people on the football field as hard as he hits the books. His hard hitting is definitely paying off.