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He's pumped to play college soccer, Spartan Spotlight with Brayden Grimsey

If you know Brayden Grimsey, sports, and more specifically soccer, is a huge part of his life. He loves the rush of dribbling and passing, mounting an offense attack while pushing the ball down the field.

The soccer, a sport he has been playing since the age of 5, will continue to be a large part of his life. For the next four years he will play at the collegiate lever at Illinois College starting this August.

But, when asked to choose between having a Prom, a spring sports season or graduation his senior year, sports took a back seat.

"Well, I wont lie," the player from last fall's soccer team that was probably most underappreciated asset on the pitch. Grimsey, who also runs track, was sentimental about his choice. "I want to say sports but there is nothing more important than graduation and walking across the stage with my class."

The St. Joseph native enjoys playing video games, being outside, and playing basketball and soccer. He also has a creative, artistic side, although he said he has done much with it other than what he has produced for his art classes at SJO.

Like most students at the high school, finishing his senior year at home through electronic conferencing was less than satisfying, certainly not ideal.

"I dont like it! (I) miss my teachers, friends and the atmosphere," he explained. "Being home is nice for a while because you can sleep in and do homework whenever."

Understandable. It is hard to make lasting teenage memories quasi-trapped in quarantine-like confinement.

His greatest memories at SJO include playing soccer with his friends on the field, going to home football games, and qualifying for the IHSA Track and Field State Competition during his junior year.

Hoping to make a repeat, consecutive trip to the state meet, Grimsey competed in three indoor meets this spring before the COVID-19 pandemic forced athletic events around the country to a unwelcomed halt. Out of the eight events he ran in his final season as a Spartan, his 4x200-meter relay squad placed first at the UNI Indoor meet on February 21.

Now that track is over and high school classes done for the semester today, he can focus on the next chapter of his life. He is jazzed about playing soccer at the next level.

"I'm PUMPED!" he exclaimed. "I'm looking forward to playing at this level, a dream of mine for a long time. I'm hoping to contribute to a new team and coach with a winning season."

You will be able to get a glimpse of Grimsley in his new uniform on August 23 in Decatur when the Blueboys take on Millikin University in a preseason scrimmage.

Majoring in Human Services, the two-sport athlete isn't sure what he will do after college.

"I hoping to be a a part of an athletic team," he said. "Graduate school is something I'm open to."

However, his dream job would working with a professional soccer team. He said it would be great to work around so many amazing players that he idolizes.

The four-year veteran has a little advice for teammates he leaving behind: "Keep your heads up, never give up and always play with your heart," he says. "I'll be back to watch!"

Meanwhile, for incoming freshmen students, he said they should enjoy their time in high school because it goes by so fast.

Grimsey's favorite classes at SJO were all of his science-related classes with Mrs. Jeanna Kerner and Mrs. Stacey Kietzman, two of his favorite teachers. He also enjoy every class he he ad with Mr. Don Beckett. He singled out Mrs. Kirk at St. Joseph Grade School and Mr. Steele at St. Joseph Middle School as two other teachers he really liked before entering high school.

"Mrs. Kietzman is a very sweet kind teacher who has always encouraged me and supported me," he said. "Mrs. Kerner, I wont lie she is pretty relaxed and very honest, and her sarcasm and humor matches mine."

As mentioned earlier, Grimsey like to play videos games in his free time. He likes Call of Duty, FIFA and NBA2K. If e-gaming was an IHSA sport and there was a state trophy at stake, he left no doubt his Spartan gaming team would bring home hardware like every other sport at SJO. With his five-man special ops team comprised of himself along with covert buddies Zac, Downing, Trevon, and Wes, they would be a superior gaming force for the competition to reckon with.

"We are Call of Duty gods. We'd take 'em down."


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