The Journal is shining the spotlight on high school senior athletes whose seasons were cut short because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Peyton Brown, a right-handed pitcher on the West Forsyth baseball team, felt the Titans had the potential for a solid run in the NCHSAA Class 4-A playoffs. The Campbell signee's final season, ending in a 3-2 win against Alexander Central on March 10, was cut short because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Brown's focus has since shifted to training for an impending Division I career with the Camels. He hopes to play a significant role on the team as a freshman.
Brown shared his thoughts in a Zoom conference. Here are the highlights:
Q: What are you missing most about school and baseball?
Answer: At this point, I'm just missing being around the guys and all the coaches. I mean, just being out there pretty much. Being stuck at home is pretty bad — not much to do, and not much you can do. … Probably the competitive spirit of just the program itself. Like Coach (Brad) Bullard and all the other coaches, they really push you to compete at your best and that's probably the No. 1 thing that drives everybody who plays there. Like, you're not just going to go there and try to win. You're doing to go there and you're going to win.
Q: How are you keeping busy and remaining fit?
Answer: I got a program sent to me from Campbell to help me maintain where I am. And I'm also working with (Spark Fitness and Performance) up in King. I work out there, usually. I like to train with (Brealon Ashworth). They'll send me a program just to maintain my strength until I can get back in the gym. That's pretty much what I've been doing — just in-home workouts and running.
Q: If you could have one thing back that COVID-19 has taken from you, what would it be?
Answer: Probably just getting out there on the field and competing with all my guys. That was the biggest thing that it took away, and that's the biggest thing that really hurt. I lost a chance to compete with the guys that I won't get to play with anymore in my baseball career. I mean, I'll see Connor Monroe — I'll probably play him because he'll be at (N.C. State) and I'll be at Campbell. … But some of the other guys, who won't get a chance to play at that next level or don't get that opportunity, I won't be able to play with them or against them.
Q: What were a few of your goals throughout senior year, and were those altered?
Answer: I mean the biggest goal was I wanted to go deep into the playoffs with the team and help push them as their No. 1 or No. 2 pitcher. But, yeah, it definite changed a lot. I didn't get to fulfill that dream about getting deep into the playoffs and, possibly, a state championship for my senior year. This was my last shot, but that was the biggest thing.
Q: What’s been your source of motivation during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Answer: You've got to have that sense of adversity and get out there. Like, you don't want to get behind. I don't want to go into Campbell my first year and feel like I am behind everybody just because of (COVID-19). I want to keep working and maintaining to where I can go in and earn a spot my freshman year. That's my biggest motivation is I just don't want to be behind — I still want to have my spot, my chance.
Q: Who’s the person you couldn’t get through this without?
Answer: Probably just hitting up my teammates and talking to them, and just being able to go throw at a field. Like, me and Connor would go throw at (Joanie Moser Park in Clemmons). … So getting out and still being able to throw and do a little bit of something, it's better than just being locked up in a house.