Brayden Brown finds himself in an ideal spot when he’s ensconced among the 21 other players during a football game. When the ball is snapped and the Juanita High player bursts forward from his running back or offensive linebacker positions, each moment takes him away from everything on his mind that resides off the gridiron.
For the next two hours-plus, it’s all about football, a sport the senior Rebel has played since the third grade.
“This is probably my favorite thing to do year round out of all the sports,” said the former baseball and basketball player who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 190 pounds.
This season will mark Brown’s third year on varsity and the team has been putting in heaps of hours training this summer, on the field and in the weight room. Brown — an honorable mention on the 2A/3A All-KingCo list last year — is excited for the 2019 campaign to begin.
“We’ve got all the right pieces, a bunch of young talent on the team,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, it’s my senior year. They’ve (the players) been coming out every day pretty much the whole summer. It’s looking good.”
Brown and his teammates have been bonding both on the field and when they get in a swim at the beach, chow down at a barbecue or catch a movie.
During his Rebel career, Brown said the hard work on the field and guidance from coach Chris Vogt have elevated his character.
Brown’s face lights up when he discusses his top highlight from last year: During his first game at running back in the season opener against Ballard at home, he hammered the ball home from 5 yards out to notch the deciding touchdown in the Rebels’ 21-17 victory. Before the score, Brown toted the ball 15 yards.
“It was super fun, the whole crowd was going crazy,” said Brown, whose team will begin the season versus Ballard again at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.
The Reporter asked Brown a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The harder you go on the field, the harder the work you put in, you’re gonna be doing the same on and off the field in real life.
Do you have any kind of a routine before the game?
I just listen to music mostly and joke around with my teammates.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When you’re talking to people and they’re not even listening to you and you’re just like, ‘Really?’ They’re looking over somewhere else when you’re trying to have a conversation with them.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“The Lion King.” The original one, I used to watch that a lot.
What inspires you — a person, song lyric, movie?
I look at people who fight through cancer for inspiration. If you can do that, you can pretty much do anything. When you’re going through all the hard times and you’re just keeping your head up.