Scholar Athlete: Jake Brumfield

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adams County Christian School’s Jake Brumfield throws a pitch during baseball practice Wednesday afternoon at ACCS. Brumfield has a 3.94 GPA and scored a 22 on the ACT. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — While most athletes for Adams County Christian School are spending time on the football field right now, Jake Brumfield is looking ahead to the spring.

Brumfield, ace pitcher for the Rebels’ baseball team, has spent the last two years of his high school career focused solely on the diamond.

He’s also spent time dominating in the classroom, posting a 3.94 GPA and scoring a 22 on the ACT. Brumfield, who features a fastball, curveball, changeup and slider, said he decided to stay exclusive to baseball in order to perfect his pitching craft.

“I played football in ninth and 10th grade,” Brumfield said. “I don’t have the personality for football. I’m not the most aggressive person, and I don’t love contact.”

But it’s a different mentality altogether when he steps on the mound, Brumfield said.

“I love being on the mound and being able to control the game than letting someone hit me coming full speed,” Brumfield said.

“When I’m on the mound, there’s a greater sense of control. Whether they hit a home run or I strike them out, I feel like no one can touch me. There’s no way to describe it unless you’ve done it. I feel (much stronger) about pitching than I do anything else.”

There’s also life beyond high school to consider, Brumfield said.

“I know being my size and speed, I’m not going to college to play football or basketball, because I don’t have the build for it,” Brumfield said. “I’m more suited for baseball. I just want to focus on one thing.”

And with his senior season coming up in 2012, Brumfield said he’s come to appreciate what being a high school pitcher means to him.

“I was on the mound in the first game of the year last year — I think it was against Porter’s Chapel — and the umpire called time, and I stepped off the mound,” Brumfield said. “I saw 18 little kids on the fence watching me.

“It seems like it was just yesterday that I was that kid on the fence watching the big kid play, and now I’m that big kid.”

After it’s over, Brumfield said he will definitely miss the high school atmosphere.

“It’s rough,” Brumfield said. “I’m ready to move on, but being a senior is great. Everyone says they want to leave, but they always end up coming back.”

When it comes to his schoolwork, Brumfield said his most useful tool is the ability to recollect what’s taught to him in the classroom.

“I’m the kind of guy that remembers something when you tell it to me,” Brumfield said.

Brumfield said he’s taken a particular interest in physics this year, although he doesn’t think he could go into a career in physics.

“It’s definitely the hardest course I’ve ever taken, but everything in it captures something inside of me that makes me want to learn more about it,” Brumfield said.

“I might think about being an engineer or something, but not a full-blown physicist.”

While most pitchers focus on throwing sessions, Brumfield said his main focus right now is getting stronger physically.

“This year more than ever, I’ve been hitting the weights hard every day,” Brumfield said. “I was told this summer by some college coaches that, because I short-arm the ball when I throw it, I’ll be able to pick up velocity when I get stronger.”

Brumfield is the son of Spanky and Stephanie Brumfield, and he said his father in particular has helped him tremendously with baseball.

“We’re unlike any father-son combo I’ve ever seen,” Brumfield said. “He knows more about baseball than anything else. He’s been my coach since I was a kid, and if my hitting is off or my changeup isn’t working right, he’ll drop what he’s doing and stay until it’s corrected.”

And Brumfield has one story in particular to prove it.

“One time we started working on my hitting around 4:30 to 5 p.m., and we stayed until 9 p.m.,” Brumfield said.

“We have the lights on for hours. Every parent wants their child to be good, but I know he does it because he loves me. I have to give a big thanks to him.”