Sports

Brown ... 2007-08 Central Kitsap Reporter Male Co-Student Athletes of the Year

Caleb Brown will be taking the field next year for the University of Washington. In addition to becoming a physical therapist, Brown hopes to improve his standing for next year’s draft.  - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Caleb Brown will be taking the field next year for the University of Washington. In addition to becoming a physical therapist, Brown hopes to improve his standing for next year’s draft.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

Caleb Brown may have a bat built for the pros, but even he knows he didn’t get there alone.

The youngest of four boys, Brown had some extra motivation growing up thanks to brothers Kevin, TJ and Zac.

“I was always trying to catch up,” the recent CK grad said. “It probably made me better; a lot better. I never got (pitched) underhanded, I’ll tell you that much. Even when I was 5 and I couldn’t swing a bat.”

Now it’s paying off for Brown, who will play baseball for the University of Washington next year after getting drafted in the 42nd round of this year’s MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.

But with the brains to match the bat, Brown was an easy choice for the Central Kitsap Reporter’s Male Co-Student Athlete of the Year.

Not only did Brown excel in three sports at CK, but also in the classroom, earning a 3.0 grade point average while taking eight Advanced Placement classes.

“I just have a drive to do well at things,” Brown said. “I don’t like being subpar at stuff. It makes me drive harder, go harder.”

An All-Narrows League tight end for CK as a sophomore and junior, Brown won the league’s MVP award this season, helping CK return back to state where the team had not been in 10 years.

“It was nice to finally get there with a class of guys working so hard to get there,” Brown said.

He was a solid contributor to the boys hoops team as well.

But it was the baseball diamond where Brown shined brightest. He hit .453 with 24 runs and 23 RBI this season in helping CK advance all the way to the regional finals. That helped earn him a baseball scholarship to UW and got him drafted.

“It was kind of special,” he said of the draft. “At the same time, I was really upset with how the whole thing went.

“Everybody thought (the Kansas City) Royals’ fifth or sixth round, I’m gone. That’s what the (Boston) Red Sox told me, what Tampa Bay told me when I talked to them. I was sure it was the Royals too.”

But Brown slipped all the way to the 42nd round, largely a product of teams assuming he was unwilling to entertain offers aside from UW.

It was Brown’s first venture into sports beyond being a competitive athlete.

“It’s the first taste of baseball as a business,” Brown said. “And I guess you realize you’re actually not that special. There’s no amateur baseball player right now who’s special to anyone. It’s all about the money they invest in you.”

Having learned a lot, Brown said he looks forward to building on this year’s draft experience.

“I think I have a chance to build on that,” he said. “I’m gonna get better, I’m gonna get stronger. I’m gonna prove myself against high quality competition.”

Still, Brown is excited for the opportunity the Huskies will afford him as well. Interested in becoming a physical therapist, Brown said he looks forward to continuing his educational career as well.

“I’m interested in medicine and I want to stay in sports,” he said. “But I don’t want to have to do too much school.”

While at CK, Brown also was the president of the CK chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America as a junior.

“I don’t see how any class I’ll take this year is gonna be that much more difficult than the AP classes I took at CK,” he said. “Those were just as grueling as anything I’ll take. Not to mention I’ll have a whole academic support staff. Tutors, anything I need is at my disposal.”

That helped him hone his time management skills, juggling his various sports and practices with his school work.

“When you’re tired from practice, you don’t really like doing homework,” Brown said. “A lot of late nights. I lacked a lot of sleep during high school.”

Still, even with a Sept. 9 college start date looming, Brown said he still doesn’t quite feel like high school’s ended.

“I don’t really feel removed yet,” he said. “Once I show up to the U, that’s probably when it’ll start digesting.”

With the CK football team opening its season just days early on Sept. 6 at Qwest Field against Hawaii’s Punahou, Brown already has his pass, though he said it will probably be a game of mixed emotions for him. He’s excited for his former teammates...

“But sad just because I still have a lot of friends on the team,” he said. “I’ll probably want to be out there helping them, battling with them.”

Another benefit to being right across the water is that his family, particularly dad Rick and mom Cindy, can come watch him play.

“I like my dad watching me,” he said. “They can come to whatever game they feel like.”

After all, most of his success he owes to his family.

“My brothers all pushed me to get up to the level that they were at,” Brown said. “They weren’t bad high school athletes. So that little sibling rivalry, trying to one-up them all the time, definitely helped. And my parents always had me play up. Zac and I would play on the same team just for convenience.”

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