Brown has chance to succeed with Chemeketa
Senior catcher became solid wall for Madras
Jordan Brown knows how to goof off with the best of them.
So much so, that if you would have asked White Buffalo baseball followers two years ago who would become leaders of the program in 2012, his name would not have been mentioned.
But, Brown proved many people wrong this past season, and when the season ended for the White Buffalos with a loss at No. 1-ranked Ontario May 25, their leader was overwhelmed with emotion and tears filled his eyes.
"Those tears indicated that our program is working," MHS head coach Adam Randall said. "The neatest thing about Jordan's story is that three years ago he cared about himself only, but this season he cared about his team, too."
Brown, who was recently named a Tri-Valley Conference first-team catcher, played an instrumental role in helping Madras finish second in the conference and in the top eight in the state during his final year with the program.
"He recognized that this was his last chance to be a part of high school sports and he capitalized," Randall said of Brown. "He rubs some people the wrong way, but Jordan has come a long ways, and you saw signs of it this season."
Many coaches and onlookers may not have understood Brown due to his onfield actions at times in his high school athletic career, but this season he cleaned it up, and the results were evident.
"When I was younger, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd," Brown said. "My attitude wasn't right, but sports helped me get everything together."
Now, with the season and high school career behind Brown, he's satisfied with the way things ended for him and his baseball teammates.
"No way did I think we would make the quarterfinals, but we came together and proved people wrong," Brown said of his thoughts early in the season. "We just were not that strong with pitching early in the year, but Randall and the coaches just kept telling us we could succeed, and we believed it."
The White Buffalos struggled in preseason play and opened Tri-Valley Conference action 0-3. Needless to say, Madras' playoff hopes were nearly gone at the time.
"It was at a Monday practice after we were 0-3, and we were dogging it," Brown said. "But I yelled at the guys that I was tired of losing. We then agreed as a team that we were tired of losing games and things changed."
Brown and the White Buffalos rattled off nine consecutive victories to put themselves into the Class 4A baseball playoffs, where Madras defeated Yamhill-Carlton and Baker, before losing at Ontario.
"I think we showed the younger guys that if you believe and work hard, you can do it," Brown said. "I wasn't going to get emotional after our last game, but young Parker Dominguez told me he would never forget me, and I knew I did my job."
Brown finished TVC play with a .510 batting average, an .863 slugging percentage, six doubles and six triples -- all of which led the TVC.
"Brown has all the physical tools to be a college baseball player," Randall said. "It's all going to come down to his attitude."
Brown now has an opportunity to succeed again at Chemeketa Community College. Coaches have invited him to play this fall. If he maintains grades, he will gain financial assistance to play baseball.
"My message to the younger guys is to take things seriously," Brown said. "I didn't always do that over the past four years, but when I did, I realized very quickly that good things can come when you give it your all."