“He is our only captain,” Coach Josh Leighton said referring to the fact most teams have more than one person with that designation. “He makes sure everyone is doing their best. He keeps the other guys engaged.”
Brown was playing a singles match recently against Lake Forest’s Peter Tarwid while teammates Toby Ma and Andrew Pekin were taking on the Scouts’ No. 1 doubles team on the next court. Without losing concentration on his match, he knew what the others were doing.
“Let’s go Warriors,” he shouted to Ma and Pekin on more than one occasion as he glanced over to motivate the tandem. Brown dispatched Tarwid, like the Warrior captain a state qualifier last year, 6-0, 6-3. Ma and Pekin won as well.
Not only is Brown the Warriors’ captain, but he is also a contender for the individual state singles crown—he was third last year—and is leading a team that took second in 2011.
Though 2011 champion Robbie Steinman of New Trier has graduated, Brown must contend with last year’s runner-up, Trevian Jared Hiltzek, and Hinsdale Central freshman Martin Joyce, according to Leighton. Hiltzek beat Brown in last year’s semifinals, 6-3, 6-3.
“He’s gotten a lot better,” Brown said of Hiltzek. “It’s going to be hard to get past him but I’ll give it my best shot.” Hiltzek has won their two meetings this year. Though Joyce defeated Brown earlier in the year, the Warrior avenged the loss with a 6-2, 6-2 win Saturday.
Brown has improved a great deal himself traveling to junior tournaments throughout the country and missing some school in the process. He plays in the second highest competitive level competing with some of the nation’s best, according to Brown. He has won championships at the regional level and come close in national competition.
The Yale University bound senior knows how to be proactive and communicate with his teachers to maintain his class work when he is absent from school playing in a tournament.
“I email my teachers to find out what I can do ahead of time,” Brown said. “I get notes from a classmate. When you work hard the teachers really try to help you.” Brown has a 3.98 out of four grade point average.
“We don’t have class rank but he is one of the top (students) in his class,” Leighton, a math teacher as well as the tennis coach, said. “He is very dedicated and knows what he needs to do. He was always in the lab,” Leighton added about Brown’s tenacious study habits when he observed him as a student.
As successful as he has been on the tennis court, Brown knows it will be his academic endeavors that propel him to success after college. He does not see professional tennis in his future.
“You have to be so good,” Brown said of the pro level of competition. “I’m going to get a real job. There’s more stability.” For now, he plans to study math and economics at Yale.