Sometimes, when high school sports practices are held, a coach may look beyond his or her own staff for additional motivation, something beyond the scope of the sport involved.
That extra bit of motivation, and inspiration, goes the extra distance when it comes from a former athlete who has been through an almost-unthinkable experience —the accidental taking of a human life.
Joshua Brown, a graduate of Jefferson High School (2006) and now, a book author, has been doing just that of late. Most recently, he spoke to Jefferson’s baseball team just prior to the start of practice last week.
Last fall, Brown spoke to the Cougars’ football team.
Brown spent three years in prison after causing an accident in 2014, which killed 87-year-old Nelson Robinson, of Shepherdstown. Brown had been out with friends at Shepherd’s homecoming and had been drinking.
“I made a bad decision, I drove after I had been drinking,” Brown recalled. “The next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital,” Brown recalled. He was later told he had been involved in a serious accident, had hit someone, and that a person had been killed.
His book: ‘Prisons 2 Purpose: My Road to Redemption and Your Road to Triumph’ is in circulation. It covers Brown’s life in prison and his road back to living a better life.
Jefferson coach John Lowery invited Brown to speak to the team. He stressed how important Brown’s talk was going to be and wanted the team to pay close attention to Brown’s words.
“If you make a mistake, make it right,” Brown told the team during his speech. He said stay away from bad situations, don’t get in with the wrong crowd, and make good decisions.
“I always vowed to give back to the kids,” Brown said. “Just deliver the message. I always want to be better.”
Jefferson first baseman Sammy Roberts, who heard Brown’s speech last fall as a member of the football team, once again listened with great interest.
“I think it’s always awesome to hear him speak,” Roberts said. “It’s very inspirational with what he says. I take it to heart, hearing what he says.”
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SHEPHERD FOOTBALL NOTES After a year of no football, the Rams are set to resume this fall at full speed.
Shepherd has 11 games on its slate. The Rams open up their 2021 campaign on the road at Old Dominion on Thursday Sept. 2. Two more road games are slated before Shepherd comes home.
The Rams visit Gannon on Saturday, Sept. 11, then head to IUP the following Saturday. Shepherd comes home on Saturday, Sept. 25 for Family Day, hosting Kutztown at noon.
Shippensburg visits Rams’ Stadium on Saturday, Oct.2, for a noon games with Shepherd. Then it’s on the road for the next two weeks. First, at Lock Haven on Saturday, Oct. 9; then at Millersville on Saturday, Oct. 16.
The Rams’ homecoming game is against West Chester at noon on Saturday, Oct. 23, followed by a road game at Bloomsburg on Saturday, Sept. 30. Shepherd wraps up its 2021 campaign with two straight home games.
First, the Rams host East Stroudsburg at noon on Saturday, Nov. 6 (Military Appreciation Day), then close out the year with Slippery Rock at noon on Saturday, Nov. 13 (Senior Day).