Prep Football: East Rowan's Brown headed to Methodist
By Mike London
GRANITE QUARRY — Kyler Brown’s stats as a senior receiver for ground-oriented East Rowan were modest — 14 catches, 162 yards, one touchdown.
Brown’s physical dimensions — 5-foot-8, 150 pounds — are equally modest.
Still, new East Rowan head football coach Danny Misenheimer has no reservations about Brown being able to help a college football team.
“Kyler was a big part of our program and a very dominant force,” Misenheimer said. “Its great to see he’s going to continue playing a sport we all love.”
Brown signed with Division III Methodist in Fayetteville and will remain a teammate of his friend Wesley LeRoy.
LeRoy, a cornerback, and Brown rarely practiced against each other. Both veterans spent their time trying to make East’s talented sophomores better by showing them the ropes and the proper way to handle adversity.
Brown had people showing him how to do things the right way early in life. His father was his first football coach, and he got started in third grade.
But by seventh grade, he thought he’d had enough.
“I quit after seventh grade until my junior year,” Brown said. “That’s when I decided I wanted to try and make a name for myself like my sister and brother had. Because of my size, I’ve always had to work for whatever I got, but I started seeing positive results.”
Blake Abernathy, who was a standout at East and a good linebacker at Division III Averett, is Brown’s half-brother and provided a role model.
When Brown did make his comeback, he compensated for lost time. He caught a TD pass as a junior against Cox Mill. As a senior, he made four catches for 83 yards against North Iredell and reeled in a TD pass when East knocked off South Rowan.
“It seemed like every game Kyler made a catch you didn’t think he could make,” Misenheimer said. “He’d twist his body and somehow, someway, he’d come down with the ball.”
East didn’t beat anyone except South last fall, but Misenheimer said Brown stayed positive.
“He never gave up,” he said. “Even in a bad season, Kyler came to work every day. He was one our best leaders.”
Brown wants to study athletic training, and he’s confident Methodist is the right place for him to be.
“When I went down there to visit, I was impressed at how nice it was,” he said. “It was head and shoulders above the other schools I looked at.”