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Athlete of the Year - Brown Logged Best Results Of 2010-11
6-22 OAK AOY
One of the best athletes in the state for two sports (football and wrestling), A.C. Brown was an easy choice for the 2010-11 Oakdale Leader Athlete of the Year. Photo illustration by - photo by IKE DODSON/THE LEADER
While soft spoken and polite, 2011 Oakdale High graduate A.C. Brown is anything but timid.
During Saturday’s 38th Annual Lions All-Star Football game at the University of the Pacific, Brown delivered a crushing hit to East Union graduate Teejay Gordon, leaving the Lancer star slumped to the turf for several minutes before he was whisked to the hospital for stitches to his exposed chin.
Brown, a linebacker for the South, delivered the legal hit just as Gordon sent off a key touchdown pass in the second quarter that spurred the way for a 21-6 North victory.
Gordon wasn’t there to see the win, but Brown isn’t too sympathetic for his Valley Oak League foe.
“I would have hit him like that if he was any other quarterback,” Brown said on Sunday. “I don’t even feel a little bit bad about it.”
The powerful collision was no surprise to attending Oakdale High football fans, who watched Brown batter opposing offensive players throughout the fall season enroute to a Section championship appearance and Brown’s selection as a first team All State linebacker.
Brown’s tremendous football season, coupled with a Sac-Joaquin Masters wrestling championship and top-12 state finish the next week, led to one of the most explosive and authoritative years for any athlete in Oakdale High history.
He was an easy choice as the 2010-11 Oakdale Leader Athlete of the Year.
“It was a blast to play eight sport seasons at Oakdale High,” Brown said. “I had fun each year and I could not imagine myself being at any other school.
“Oakdale is a community that is great at supporting its sports programs and was a great place for me to be.”
Brown wasn’t your typical high school athlete by any means. He received his block O as a varsity starter in the wrestling lineup as a freshman, and earned a starting nod on the varsity football team as a sophomore.
And Oakdale coach Trent Merzon cleverly utilized his versatility. Brown hauled in touchdown catches as a tight end his junior year and pounded into the end zone as a fullback his senior year. He even scored one of his seven scores in 2010 from 57 yards out.
But Brown’s biggest impact came on the defensive side of the ball, where blocks couldn’t contain him and blitzes were a serious hazard to quarterbacks’ health. His post at the very front of Oakdale’s player line before games was an intimidating presence that would soon be felt on the field.
But despite the crushing hits, the big offensive moments and the extreme defensive prowess, Brown’s football seasons paved the way to even greater success on the wrestling mat.
He is a three-time California Interscholastic Federation championships qualifier who was runner-up at the all-division SJS Masters his junior year and champion of the 215-pound Masters bracket his senior year.
He took his SJS title by throttling highly regarded McNair upperweight Malique Micenheimer in a 12-2 match that nearly saw Micenheimer pinned. Brown was top-12 in the state this year and could have finished higher if not for a one-point loss to the state runner-up and an unfortunate scramble where he slipped to his back in the state consolation bracket. Micenheimer, who Brown had handily beaten the week prior, took third in the state.
“I had been hearing his name all year and everyone had talked about how good (Micenheimer) was,” Brown said. “I just remember waiting on that match, wanting to prove that I could beat him.”
Brown departs for California State University, Bakersfield on a generous wrestling scholarship this fall. He has his placement tests June 27 and expects to move to Bakersfield for school and off-season practices in August.
Brown said he appreciates the opportunities Oakdale coaches have helped him take advantage of.
“I think what I learned most at Oakdale High is that hard work pays off in the long run,” Brown said. “If you work hard then things will happen for you.”