Congratulations Big Guy, Well deserved, you earned it - You've Come A Long Way !
By DAVE SCHABELL
When Sophomore Reserve Nathan Brugger scored a basket in the waning moments of the Brossart-Paris game last night, most in attendance probably didn’t pay it much heed, it was simply a bucket by a JV player mopping up for the varsity starters who had long since been removed, but for Nathan Brugger, and those of us who have enjoyed watching him progress, it marks a milestone in his life, a victory over insurmountable odds, one that not many would have attempted. We’re glad he did.
You see, Nathan Brugger was cut from the freshmen team last year. We are very conscientious about making cuts, so I’m sure that it was quite justified at the time. I’m also sure that when Coach Mike Schack cut him, he encouraged him to work on his skills on his own, and if it was important to him, to try out again next year – the standard pseudo encouragment offered by a coach with the unenviable task of ending a player’s career before it ever gets started.
But Nathan heeded his coach’s advise, and in the meantime he grew to be a long, lanky, 6’3″ sophomore, who showed up at summer open gyms with the intent of giving it another go. That rarely happens, and when it does, few succeed. But it was there that Nathan caught the eye of Coach Mike Code, who worked with him on his shot durng those summer sessions and invited him to try out for the team in October, following his JV football season.
Nathan did, and this time stuck with the ballclub, earning one of our coveted JV/Varsity Brossart Mustangs uniforms.
Nathan Brugger to this day remains a project. A smart, polite, hard working, give-it-your-best-shot, listen and learn project, who toils primarily on Coach Bob Rowe’s Junior Varsity squad, while working daily with Coach Bundy and the “bigs” both during and after practice on his post moves.
Whether Nathan Brugger ever becomes an impact player for the Brossart Mustangs is yet to be seen, but tonight in the final moments of the 10th Region All “A” Opening round game vs Paris, Brugger, the sophomore who didn’t make the freshmen team, made a break through – he wrote his name on the list of career Brossart Mustangs varsity scorers. Two down, and Nine-Hundred-Ninety-Eight away from joining the 1,000 Point Club. I’m sure that doesn’t matter tonight.
I hope that when Nathan Brugger got home after the game and looked in the mirror, the image looking back said, “Congratulations Big Guy, Well deserved, you earned it – You’ve Come A Long Way!!!” And indeed he has.
Nathan Brugger now to some small degree becomes another in the long line of Brossart/Scotty “Ruthesque” success stories (See Scott Ruth – Legend). Whether Nathan Brugger never scores another varsity point, or scores more than 998 of them, nobody can ever take away what the big sophomore has accomplished in one short year.
Dave Schabell, January 24, 2008