COLLINSVILLE, Miss. (WTOK) Playing three sports has always been the norm for Braden Luke.
“I played baseball and soccer since I was probably about four or five," Braden said. "Football started in elementary school, probably third or fourth grade.”
Being a three-sport athlete his entire life hasn’t really worn out Braden. In fact, it’s had the opposite effect.
“You get in the middle of one and you keep waiting for the next one to start," Braden explained. "Middle of football season you’re ready for soccer, middle of soccer you’re tired of soccer and ready to play baseball. You get ready to play each one even though you’re still playing the other."
On the Knights’ football team, Braden played tight end and also was the team’s kicker.
He was one of the state leaders on kickoffs for touchbacks in all of MHSAA this past season. Braden also earned the honor of 4A All-State Punter of the Year, averaging 44.6 yards per punt.
Head football coach Brock Clay said Braden is one of the most versatile players he’s ever coached, being able to place him in any position on the field. He shared how Braden’s success as a kicker though isn’t surprising
“Braden’s a super gifted kid. He’s super intelligent," Coach Clay said. "We would go over something one time and he would know it from two years ago so the intelligence factor was never an issue, never has been an issue. It’s a pleasure to coach kids like that and that’s a plus.”
Braden’s favorite sport has always been baseball. His ninth grade season, he won a state championship with the Knights and was named District 5-4A Player of the Year last season.
Although his senior season was cut short by the coronavirus, Braden will be continuing on with his baseball career at Meridian Community College.
“I had always wanted to play baseball. It was always my dream to play baseball at the next level," Braden said. "Even though I love football, baseball is my favorite sport.”
Along with being athletically talented, Braden is also musically talented, serving as chorus vice president this past year.
“I started in the chorus in ninth grade," Braden shared. "I like music – I play piano and my dad is the song leader at the church up here…I’ve always liked music so ninth grade I got into chorus and I took it every year since.”
Academically, Braden holds a 4.03 GPA and scored a 29 on his ACT. He has made academic honor roll every year since ninth grade and was a 2x recipient of the Chivalrous Knight of the Month award at West Lauderdale.
While Braden’s time as a West Lauderdale will be coming to a close in a few weeks, he is proud to always be a Knight
“There’s a long line of people that come through West Lauderdale that go on to do great things," Braden explained. "To have that feeling of being a West Lauderdale Knight and that tradition of excellence it’s really good knowing that.”
Braden plans to major in sports information or sports administration after he finishes his basic courses at MCC.