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CBD Journal with Drake Browne (November 23rd)

Exams are finished, papers have been printed, and the Paladins are on their way home for Thanksgiving break. It is a much needed break. Nothing will fuel me up for the Semester’s home stretch better than grandma’s fabulous cooking, and some quality time with family and friends. It’s going to be a treat.

So, before I catch my flight back to Cincinnati, I would like to leave you all with a little food for thought. I will be the first to admit, it is hard to overlook the piles of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, but I try to make it a point to never forget the true meaning of THANKSgiving. It is to give thanks, so here are a few things that our baseball program is incredibly thankful for:

1. Family:

Whether it is playing an intense game of NBA Jam or just talking in the dining hall, our team really is a family. It is something that I am thankful for every day, and I could not ask for a better group of guys to call my teammates. Even though we lost Uncle Rico (Ex-Pitching Coach Brit Reames), and the old gathering spot (Our House), we have banded even closer through these tough times.

(Furman 2013 Class)
(2011 Upstate Diamond Classic)

I am sorry to hear about the Rhode Island team’s loss, and I really do feel your pain. I could not imagine losing a teammate, and we continue to keep the Rhody squad in our thoughts and prayers.

2. Money:

Woah! Isn’t that the most material thing you have ever heard? I am sorry, but please let me explain.

Furman’s new president Rod Smolla, and some generous donors have really helped our program over the past few months. The first step was to equip us with the latest and greatest under armor apparel. The team who used to drool over a cotton tee and gym shorts now has this arsenal of team issued gear:

(That isn’t even all of it!)

The next step was to make our program fully funded, which is actually a touchy subject. I can’t deny that it will really help to have as many scholarships as our competitors. This will take our game to the next level, but there is one overriding concern. The Walk-On, whether he is recruited or tries out, has been a big part of Furman Baseball for a long time. I am scared to see what will happen if we are no longer able to bring in slightly under talented, over weight first basemen. It might sound silly at first, but you never know when they will really come into form as a side-arming relief pitcher. (The Drake Browne Story)

3. The Paladin Training Staff

Athletes get hurt. It is a part of competing at such a high level. Lucky for us Paladins, we have a great Sports Medicine staff that works tirelessly to get us back on the field.

(Abby and Chris came to the rescue of my roommate, Matt Plate)
(Krista (right) shows Raegan (left) that rehab is actually fun!)

Because of my elbow injury, the training room has been my second home over the past few months. It might not be the “Happy Place” that is pictured in the classic Happy Gilmore, but I could think of a few worse places to be forced to go after four straight hours of class. Through all of my complaining, bad jokes, and even the occasional tardiness, our trainer Micaela has never given up on my rehab assignment. Thank you!

4. Coach Hickman

This year, our team was blessed with the addition of a new Strength and Conditioning Coach. The work outs are not always fun, and they are usually pretty painful, but we all know that Coach Hickman is just doing his job. Just look at him, this doesn’t look like a guy who would intentionally hurt someone, does it?

All jokes aside, he is a great trainer and we are all thankful for his dedication to our team. SMASH WEIGHT!

For the sake of time, I have to stop here. I know I left some people out, so please do not feel offended if I did not mention you in this post. Whether it is tutoring us before a big test or coming out to watch us play, the Paladins are always thankful for anyone who lends a helping hand.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. I can’t promise that the Lions football game will keep me awake after our family feast, but I can assure you one thing. No matter what is on your plate this year, it will be a great holiday if you take time to step back and count your blessings.

#32 in the Media Guide, #1 in your hearts,
Drake Browne