Jun 2-8. 05
VOL 124 NO. 21
By Luke Eggleston/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Former B’ville High baseball, football standout Brent Quimby preps for Navy.
BALDWINSVILLE — You might say C.W. Baker High School student and St. Mary’s parishioner Brent Quimby has a taste for defense.
A three-year starter at free safety for the Baldwinsville varsity football team, Quimby will now have an opportunity to defend the backfield at Navy.
Although his high school coach Carl Sanfilippo believes the senior’s athleticism could enable him to line up at wideout or even under center for the Midshipmen in the right, Quimby would prefer to deal the hits rather than take them. “I like defense. It’s fun to hit people,” he admitted.
He hopes that the opportunity will eventually result in a chance to defend the skies for the United States. Quimby isn’t just going to the Academy for athletics of course. He intends to forge a career as a pilot with the U.S. Navy.
“I look forward to it, to tell you the truth. You have a chance to defend what you’ve grown up with,” he said. “I think everyone should take the opportunity to fight for the nation that’s given them their rights.”
Coming into his senior year, Quimby had a number of options, and they were not limited to football.
Originally, Quimby had hoped to play baseball at the collegiate level, but the offers weren’t arriving with as much frequency as he and many others had expected.
Quimby boasted a sparkling .615 batting average as a junior and set a program record for hits in a season with 43. Moreover, he was the top catcher in the league that season.
His high school baseball coach Mark Bader noted that, unless you’re a pitcher, it’s difficult to receive interest when you play in the snowy Northeast.
“I made a lot of calls and Brent went to a lot of showcases and things, but it’s really tough being from the Northeast unless you’re a pitcher and you’ve probably got an above, maybe mid-80 fastball with a second or third out pitch,” the coach said.
Nevertheless, as Baldwinsville competed in the New York State tournament in baseball last year, Bader expected scouts to take note.
“I thought Brent would have been seen more, because we did go on to play at a pretty high level,” the coach said.
Quimby said although he expected to go on to play baseball, he was never disappointed that his football gifts were more apparent to college-level coaches. “It was kind of depressing not having anyone look at me, but I took it as an opportunity to go and try football,” he said.
“He had a lot of options out there because of his football too. I think he was pretty gung-ho to play baseball coming out of last season, but then when he saw that things weren’t quite working out, he really had a tremendous football season too and it just worked out with that avenue,” said Bader, who is also an assistant football coach.
Sanfilippo noted that he told Quimby’s father, Baldwinsville Athletic Director Bruce Quimby, that his future would lie on the gridiron.
“I told his father when he was a sophomore that he was going to play football,” Sanfilippo said.
Even Bader noted that it was Quimby’s football prowess that belied his potential on the baseball diamond.
“Just seeing him on the football field I knew he would be able to play baseball at our level. It was just a matter of finding a fit for him. As athletic as he is, you find a place for him to play,” Bader said.
He finished with 17 career interceptions, more than any player Sanfilippo has coached. He played wide receiver his sophomore and junior years before moving to quarterback his senior year. During that campaign, he threw for over 1,000 yards and provided another wrinkle to the offense with his mobility.
Special service-academy regulations forbid coaches from discussing players until they’re on the grounds of their respective institutions, but Sanfilippo believes that Quimby’s combination of unusual athleticism and game savvy will propel him to a high level of play.
“He’s very cerebral when it comes to the game,” Sanfilippo said.
Quimby received mild interest from Syracuse, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin and Maryland, but was heavily recruited by NCAA Division IAA schools Northeastern, Bucknell and Colgate.
When Navy called, Quimby said he knew that was where he wanted to be. A November contest with Rutgers had intrigued him, but the pageantry of the Army/Navy game hooked him.
“We got a chance to go to the Army/Navy game. I just fell in love with it. I still visited other schools and sent in applications, but when I finally got the chance to sign with them, I figured that answered it,” Quimby said.
Since then, he has made improving his physique a priority. He lifts four times a week. During the spring athletics season, he often left baseball games and went straight to the weight room. Since the winter, he has bulked up by 10 pounds.
Neither Bader nor Sanfilippo could say enough about Quimby’s character.
“I don’t have any kids of my own, but if I had him as a son, I’d be proud to call him my son. [His parents] should just be elated to have a son like him. He doesn’t get caught up in anything, but the right thing,” Bader said. “He’s mature beyond his years is what I want to say. A lot of times you talk to him, you wouldn’t think he’s an 18-year-old, you’d think he’s a 30-year-old.”