Love for contact fuels Brownstown linebacker’s passion for football


Since he first put on pads in the fifth grade, Braden Neal’s favorite sport has been football.

“I just loved it,” he said. “It has always been my favorite sport. I love the contact of football.”

The Brownstown Central senior is expecting big things from the team in the 2018 season.

“My goal is to win a sectional championship my senior year,” Neal said. “We have some young guys that are going to need to step up. We’ve been trying to encourage them to learn, so they can be ready if they need to step up.”

Neal said that advancing to the semistate in 2016 with his older brother, Tyler, is his best memory thus far into his career.

Braden first thought about playing football when Tyler got started in Brownstown’s 56ers program.

Like Tyler did, until graduating in 2017, Braden plays as a linebacker and tight end for the Braves. While he has moved around a little bit positionally, Neal said he should mostly work as an outside linebacker this fall.

He said he prefers defense, because of the amount of contact, and looks to get a lot of tackles this fall.

In the winter, Neal will play basketball. He started last year for the Braves, and hopes to continue to play a big role on the team again this season.

Returning all but two players from last year’s roster, the Braves aim to make a run in the postseason.

In the summer, the Braves dominated the competition.

“We had a good summer,” Neal said. ” We only lost one game all summer. I think we have a chance to win sectional.”

Neal said he started playing basketball as soon as he was old enough to attend a camp.

“My dad played, and he always told me to play,” Neal said. “I like it, it’s a fun game. It’s really competitive.”

While he has many great memories, he said he will miss game days and his teammates the most.

“I’m going to miss the atmosphere. The community here is great,” Neal said. “I will probably miss the brotherhood. There’s a bond between teammates.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Neal file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Braden Neal

School: Brownstown Central High School

Siblings: Tyler and Bryce

Sports: Football (4 years), basketball (4 years).

Athletic highlights: 4-year football letterman, 2 sectional football championships

Organizations: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Letterman’s Club, Booster Club.

Plans after high school: go to college

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: The Office

Favorite movie: Django Unchained

Favorite athlete: Ray Lewis


No posts to display