BROWN REMEMBERS DAD'S COUNSEL
AS SHRINE BOWL AND COLLEGE APPROACH
Life for Olathe Northwest's Josh Brown (6'3", 235 pounds) changed dramatically in the summer of 2002.
That's when he lost his father, Doug Brown, to colon cancer, just before Josh entered eighth grade. Doug had been an assistant football and track coach at Shawnee Mission West for 18 years before his death.
Losing his dad has been tough, but Josh says he has had strong support from family and from coaches. "My mom has been a big part of my life," he says. "And not only that, but I have an older brother (Clark), and we've become a lot closer. But when you lose your dad, there is no replacement. I've had God to keep me in line and on the right path, but it's a lot different life when you don't have a father."
He says many coaches have taken him under their wings, but none more than current Olathe Northwest head coach Todd Dain, who will be a 2007 Shrine Bowl assistant coach for the East. Dain was also an assistant football coach at SM West where he was one of Doug Brown's best friends. He's someone Josh Brown has known most of his life. "He's been great," says Brown, speaking of Dain. "He's been a real mentor to me. All of my coaches have been great, but Coach Dain in particular. I knew him when I was a ball boy at SM West, and probably was the only player (at Olathe NW) who spent time with him outside of the locker room or the weight room. We've gone out to lunch a couple of times during the summer. It's been great having a relationship with such a great person."
Doug Brown left his son with sound fatherly advice. "He taught me to finish everything I started, to give 100 percent effort, and not to back down from anything. He was a very influential person in my life."
The elder Brown would no doubt have been proud of his son's effort in both football and academics. In the classroom, Josh earned a 3.75 grade point average in high school (on a 4.0 scale), and has set the lofty goal of earning a 4.0 GPA in college.
As a senior in football, he was credited with 21 solo tackles and 28 assisted tackles playing defensive end, and was an all-6A Honorable Mention player. He also received an Honorable Mention nod on the All-Metro team. He is a Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa) signee, where he thinks he'll probably be a middle linebacker. "I'm a little undersized for defensive end at that level," he says. He also expects to see some action at middle linebacker in the Kansas Shrine Bowl.
His athletic interests include a sport not nearly as well known as football to most Kansans. He loves to play rugby, and played on a team called "The Gentlemen of Olathe," a name that belies the rugged action associated with rugby. "It's non-stop, so it requires you to be in even better physical condition, which was really good for me. It really requires you to break down your tackling form or else you'll screw up your shoulders." And tackling is something he loves, especially when making a clean hit. "It's one of he greatest feelings you can get on the field," he says. "You don't even feel the other person. You just go right through them."
Proceeds from the Kansas Shrine Bowl support the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 hospitals that provide expert, no-cost orthopedic and burn care to children under 18. Children are admitted totally free to Shriners Hospitals for Children without regard for race, religion, nationality, creed, or relationship to a Shriner.
The 2007 Kansas Shrine Bowl will be the most family-friendly ever, with several events taking place during the day. Planned events include a 5K Run for Charity, a day-long Arts and Crafts Fair, a Kid's Fair, the annual Kansas Shrine Bowl Parade, a high school football combine, and a Charity Poker Run that will include cash and prizes.
Advance reserved chairback tickets for the all-star game are $20.00 in advance, $21.00 on game night. Adult general admission tickets are $9.00 in advance, $10.00 on game night. Student tickets (K-12) are $5.00 in advance, $6.00 on game night. Banquet tickets are $20.00, and must be purchased in advance. Additional information and tickets can be purchased through the Shrine Bowl office by calling 1-800-530-5524.