CENTRE - Cherokee County High School senior catcher Colin Brewer isn't about the individual spotlight. He's one of those players who likes to lead by example, putting the team's needs ahead of his own.
For Brewer, it all starts with the 4:30 a.m. workouts and ends with taking extra reps at practice.
In short, he's the consummate team player who just happens to swing a big bat too.
Last season, Brewer was instrumental in guiding the Warriors to a 25-9 record and a berth in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs. He batted .418 with 16 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 13 walks and drove in 40 runs.
Those numbers, along with Brewer's attributes, must have spoke volumes to University of Alabama-Huntsville baseball coach Hunter Royer. He offered Brewer a baseball scholarship, which he signed on Thursday. It's Cherokee County High School second baseball signing in a week. Shortstop Jaren Lockridge signed with Chattanooga State last Tuesday.
"It just shows that hard work pays off," Brewer said of signing with the Chargers. "I owe it all to my teammates and coaches to be able to get here. It's basically a dream come true for me. I'm just glad to be going to another level. I'm super-grateful for it. I'm ready to get to Huntsville."
But before Brewer packs his bags for Huntsville, there's a little matter of him finishing his senior year strong with the Warriors first.
"I feel like a lot of pressure has been taken off of me now," Brewer said. "Now I can focus on our team and winning a state championship."
Cherokee County High School coach Fran Blanchard said Brewer should be a great fit with the Charger program.
"He's a five-tool guy. I would rank him in the top five in the state as far as catchers," Blanchard said. "We had an inter-squad practice (Wednesday) and he hit a ball out where he kept his hands back and got it in the zone. It was just a blast, a towering home run. He also brings that gap-to-gap power for you. We don't let him run the bases very much, but he's got better than average speed for a catcher. Anything you can get like that out of a catcher is just gravy."
Blanchard said when he came on board as the Warriors' head coach early last season, one of things he and his son Coty Blanchard worked with Brewer on was being more of a vocal leader. Just like everything else Brewer has picked up on the baseball field, he's adapted to that role as well.
"He's one of my captains," Blanchard said. "He's gravitated to a guy who is very vocal now, but it doesn't deter him from leading by example because he still does that as well. The more he interacts with the kids, the more they see what he's willing to do, and the better it is for our program. He's such a role model."
The responsibilities that go with being a role model are something that Brewer doesn't take lightly.
"The catcher is the leader of the team, and that's what I want to be. I want to be a leader," Brewer said. "I want to be in on every play. I want to be in the game. Ever since I was a little kid, I've wanted to lead, and now that's what I'm doing."
Brewer said he took a visit to Huntsville campus last summer and came away impressed. He envisioned the school as being a place he'd fit in.
"I love it," he said. "The campus and the atmosphere are nice. I love Coach Royer. He's a laid-back guy. He kind of reminds me of Coach Fran. I'm more than excited."
So, too, is Blanchard.
"UAH is a place that's he said 'Coach, I can see myself going there, being successful in the classroom and helping them right off the bat,'" Blanchard said. "I see him playing early. I see him playing a lot as a freshman. It's a quality program, and the best thing is they've made a good decision for themselves. It's exciting for us and for Cherokee County High School."