Archive for Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Brown, Marx sign with colleges

February 12, 2003

Friday, Feb. 7, BLHS senior Darren Marx signed with Cloud County Community College to play catcher next year. He is the third Bobcat to sign a national letter of intent to play baseball, and Basehor-Linwood coach Curtis Press said more of his players would sign with colleges in the future.

Marx had offers to play football at other community colleges in the state, but he said playing baseball at Cloud County was best for him

"I've always wanted to play at the next level, and this is the first step," Marx said. "I've played all my life, since T-ball."

Cloud County's head coach, Bryan Conger, has experience with quality programs. Last year, he coached the third best team in the nation, Lamar Community College in Colorado.

He said Marx will fit in well with the program he is building at Cloud County.

"The biggest reason we wanted him is because he is a good kid," Conger said. "That's one of the things we stress. Then, when we worked him out, it was a no- brainer. He had a great work-out. He's a good athlete."

Basehor-Linwood has one of the best baseball teams in the state, and Press said Marx is a big reason for the Bobcats' success. Press said he likes both the offensive and defensive game of Marx.

"He's our starting catcher," Press said. "He's a good defensive catcher. He calls games for us. I'll maybe call two or three pitches a game, but otherwise it's all him. Also, it's nice to have a catcher that will throw out 70 percent of base runners. Most coaches won't try to test that."

Last year, Marx threw out 10 of 13 base runners trying to steal.

"Maybe the biggest surprise for me last year was his bat, " Press said.

He led the Bobcats in homeruns (5) and RBIs (23) and had a .424 batting average.

Before he leaves for Cloud County, Marx wants to improve on those statistics and help his team to a state championship, he said.

When he does leave for Cloud County, he will compete for the starting catching position.

Brown to Coffeyville

Jake Brown signed a national letter of intent to join the Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens, Thursday, Feb. 6.

With his signature, Brown took what he considers the next logical step in his life, while Coffeyville received a first team all-Kaw Valley League defensive player.

"Football is something I love to do," Brown said. "I always pictured myself playing college football."

Football has always been in his life, he said, in part because of his father. His father, Paul Brown, is the varsity coach at Basehor-Linwood and has helped Jake develop into the player he is now.

"Football was always around," Jake Brown said. "My dad never forced me or my brothers, but it became a part of us. There was no pressure."

Because he is around a football coach all the time, Jake is more mentally prepared than many high school players.

"He has a great knowledge of the game," Paul Brown said. "He is a coach's son. He understands football. He also brings great intensity, and he's always around the ball. And, he has good speed."

Both parents and coaches enjoy watching their sons and players move on to the next level. Paul Brown has the chance to view this from both perspectives.

"It's very special when a son goes on, and as a coach it's special," Paul Brown said. "I've coached a lot of kids, and they all were special. It's always special, but this is one of those times that I get both of those feelings."

Jake played linebacker for the Bobcats and recorded 360 tackles while at Basehor-Linwood, but for Coffeyville, Jake will have to adjust to the strong safety position. He will also have to adjust to a higher level of competition.

Dodge City Community College and Garden City Community College also offered Jake scholarships, but after carefully weighing his options, Jake turned them down.

"You go down there and you measure the pros and cons," Jake said. "In the end, Coffeyville was the best. They have a top-notch facility. I like the coaching staff. I get along well with them. I just clicked with them. It came down to the feeling you get in your gut."

Jake said he was not sure where he would wind up after he left Coffeyville, but he was keeping his options open. He wants to play football and major in criminal justice.

Jake leaves Basehor-Linwood with two league and district championships and several fond memories, he said.

Now, he wants to win championships and make memories as a Red Raven.

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