PHILLIPSBURG GRAD AARON BROWN MULTIPLE THREAT FOR MORAVIAN
If the multiple-sport scholastic athlete becomes a more endangered species every day, the multiple-sport collegiate athlete borders on extinction.
Yet Aaron Brown will leave Moravian College in the spring of 2018 having played golf and basketball in addition to football.
And even on the football field, the Phillipsburg graduate can't stay in one spot. When the Greyhounds travel north to King's for Thursday's non-conference football opener (7 p.m.) Brown will be found at tight end as well as at punter.
"Aaron does whatever we ask him to," Moravian coach Jeff Pukszyn said. "He originally came to Muhlenberg to play basketball. He had to learn a new language to play football and he's really developed well. He's one of the best tight ends in the Centennial Conference, and he has worked on his punting tirelessly. He's a selfless player."
And as the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Brown enters his final fall of football for the 'Hounds, he's very happy for the path he's taken.
"Being a Moravian football player is awesome," he said. "It's a brotherhood - it really is. Once you're in the Greyhound family you're never out of it."
Brown and his seniors would like to leave the Moravian football family a going-away present - its first Centennial Conference championship. Coming off a 5-5 2016 season (4-5 conference) and picked fifth in the 10-team league in the preseason poll, such aspirations may be lofty.
But Brown thinks the right mental approach can make a major difference for the Greyhounds.
"We need to stay focused and do the little things right on and off the field," he said. "And we need to people to step up and be leaders."
Moravian announced its captains this week and two of the three are among the 36 lehighvalleylive regional players on the roster - junior defensive back Nick Zambelli from Parkland and senior defensive lineman Fouad Haddad from Whitehall, along with senior wide receiver and Bear, Del. native Aaron Hudson.
But Brown knows that leadership must come from multiple sources.
"I strive to be a leader," he said. "I try and help the younger players during practice. I think we have a good group of seniors on and off the field."
Brown certainly has chipped in his share on the field. In 2016, he played in all 10 games and started four. As a tight end, he made 17 catches for 233 yards and a touchdown. As a punter, he had 41 punts for 1,519 yards, 2 touchbacks, 7 fair catches, and 11 inside-the-20 punts.
In the offseason, Brown focused on improving one area that helps both positions.
"I knew I had to get my legs stronger," Brown said. "My leg strength was not good enough. I did a lot of weight lifting for my legs - squats, dead lifts. It hurt sometimes, but it's really rewarding." Pukszyn sees Brown as a major boost for his passing game in 2017 as the Greyhounds work with some inexperienced quarterbacks,
"Any tight end who is 6-foot-6 is going to be the quarterback's best friend," the Moravian head coach said with a smile.
Especially one with the multi-talents of Aaron Brown.
Brad Wilson may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports