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Nathaniel Brown (No. 3 @ 171) Named The Daily Item Athlete of the Year

Nathaniel Brown (No. 3 @ 171) Named The Daily Item Athlete of the Year

It was a moment that defined Nathaniel Brown’s (No. 3 @ 171) amazing athletic school year, and yet it didn’t happen on the gridiron or on the mats.

No, it happened during a pep rally in anticipation of last November’s District 4 Class AA football championship game between Lewisburg and Danville. Brown, the Green Dragons’ senior fullback/linebacker, talked about the team’s disappointing finish the year before, in which Lewisburg lost to Loyalsock in the district final.

“Silver sucks, let’s not do that again,” Brown declared.

By the time his senior year came around, Brown — the son of Dr. Michael Brown and Jan Reichard-Brown of Lewisburg — was indeed tired of silver. As a junior, he had settled for silver in both football and in the state wrestling tournament at 171 pounds. But it was all about the gold in 2010-11. Brown was a star player on a Lewisburg football team that won its first 14 games (including a 18-13 win over Danville for the district title) and advanced to the state semifinals; he later went undefeated in wrestling to bring home his first state title.

For his efforts, Brown is The Daily Item Male Athlete of the Year.

(This year) was a culmination of hard work and a ton of help,” Brown says. “I had so many people all along the way giving me advice, giving me tips, giving me words of encouragement.”

Brown will wrestle at Lehigh University — he’s considering majoring in pre med — and has some big goals for his collegiate career.

“I really want to be an All-American three to four times,” he says. “It’s a really lofty goal. … I really want to see Lehigh every year be a top 10 finisher. I’d like to push (reigning champ) Penn State for a national title.”

Lewisburg wrestling coach Jim Snyder is convinced that his star grappler can do just about anything on the mats.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be an All-American or a national champion,” he says. “His style of wrestling will transfer well over to the next level.”

As great as Brown was from the beginning at Lewisburg — he was a four-time regional qualifier — that PIAA gold medal proved elusive. He took bronze as a sophomore and was undefeated going into the final as a junior before falling 2-1 to Shady Side Academy’s Matthew Cunningham.

Brown came back this year at 171 and finally made his way to the top of the podium, beating Grove City’s Wes Phipps 4-2 in the final.

“I was so tight (at states),” Brown says. “I was the favorite. It almost got to me; I was wrestling not to lose instead of to win.”

Snyder, who’s assisted by Michael Brown, was relieved to see Brown finally get that gold medal.

“It was very important because you have a kid like that that puts the time in and you see him the year before get so close and lose a tough one,” Snyder says. “We would have felt empty (with a loss).”

With his victory in the PIAA final, Brown finished his high school career with a record of 149-13.

For Complete Article by Todd Stanford, The Daily Item