Brewer an inspiration to college’s little guys

Published 11:40 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sean Brewer has a lot to be proud of and a lot to brag about, if he ever wants to.

In December he’ll be inducted as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. On Monday he was introduced as part of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, and he’ll be inducted there next July.

The man has an award named after him, for goodness sake. The Sean Brewer Award is given annually to the best defensive lineman in NCAA Division III football.

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He’s a living legend.

And yet, 24 hours after he was elected to the MSHOF, the former Warren Central and Millsaps star was on a bus riding from Madison to Vicksburg to serve as the administrator for a ninth-grade football game between Rosa Scott and Vicksburg. He’s as proud of his work as a teacher and a principal as he is anything he did on the football field 20 years ago, and to represent those that stood by him every step of the way.

“I think the Lord has a purpose for all of this. You play and then you go about living your life,” Brewer said. “It’s been surreal to think those days and accomplishments will be recognized. I’m just proud to represent Redwood, and Warren Central, and Millsaps, and all of the other small college players.”

It’s that last group that Brewer is especially proud to represent.

Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships. Many, like Millsaps, are renowned for their academics.

For those trying to balance the physical, mental and logistical demands of playing a sport with studying, the difficulty level increases exponentially.

“At the level I played at, athletics came second to academics. You had to study,” Brewer said. “It goes back to what at student-athlete should be.”

Brewer found a way to master all of that and went on to become a respected educator. He’s hoping his hall of fame selection gives inspiration to those following in his footsteps at Millsaps and all of the other Division III schools where the athletes are a little smaller and slower, but still have dreams as big as the largest programs.

“A lot of these guys were five or six inches taller than me, and certainly played on a bigger stage,” Brewer said. “Hopefully this will mean something to the small college community, and people recognize that there’s a lot of football played at a lot of levels. You don’t have to be at the biggest schools to get that recognition.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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