Back flips for Sages football

High School Sports

MONTICELLO (WCIA) — James Brown is easy to spot on the football field. Not for his size or crazy haircut. No, he’s the one doing back flips on Monticello’s field.

“My pregame, me and my coach, I actually taught him how to do one too, so we both do one,” Brown said.

And it’s not just football games where Brown is showing off his tumbling skills. Along with playing wide receiver and defensive back for the Sages, the senior has been a competitive cheerleader since eighth grade.

“I was like, ‘What? That’s like, a girl’s sport,'” he said. “At first, that’s what I thought, but it’s just as much a guy sport, as it is a girl sport.”

“It’s a weird combination but he makes it work,” Monticello senior Noah Zimmerman said. “I know there’s a lot of people supportive of him and whatever he does.” 

“He does a lot of things well,” Monticello head coach Cully Welter said. “I would definitely say tumbling has translated into making him better at football.”

Last year, Brown was part of  the Monticello cheer team during the basketball season but this year he says he’s focusing on his competitive team with the Lions Cheer Company. 

“Right after football I go to cheer practice all the way in Bloomington,” Brown said.

He says his dream would be to cheer at the University of Florida but Brown is also looking at in-state schools like Illinois State. Before then, Brown hopes to help contribute to a very good Monticello team as they face off against rival Unity.

“I love it,” Brown said. “I always look forward to it just because I have friends that go to Unity and we always just have this big rivalry and stuff. It’s just fun.”

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