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Athlete Worth Watching: Chase Browning

Jun 30, 2015 09:00AM ● By Cate Reynolds

By Nelson Coffin

St. Michaels High School // Field Hockey, Softball

Chase Browning has her priorities straight.

The St. Michael’s High junior knows exactly what floats her boat, and it only takes one sentence to express.

“All I’m about is family, friends, and sports,” she says succinctly.

She has plenty of all of the above, considering she has a slew of friends, is the oldest of five children—all athletes, she says—and plays field hockey and softball for the Saints.

According to St. Michaels’ athletic director Brian Femi, Chase is “a top-notch field hockey and softball player. But more importantly, a great student and quality young lady.”

Those accolades are echoed by field hockey coach Missy Cannon and softball coach Shawn Smith.

“Chase is such a great kid, I would love to have a team full of her,” Cannon says.

Cannon was certainly happy to have Chase on her side last fall when St. Michaels pulled off a rare win over neighboring Easton.

Chase’s drive in seven-on-seven overtime was redirected into the Warriors’ cage by teammate Nay Nay Flannary to give the Saints a 2-1 victory, the first in three years against their Talbot County rival.

“I think I dodged a couple of girls and then I just drove it like I usually do,” says Chase about the assist on Flannary’s goal, that was perhaps more important than any of the five goals she scored for St. Michaels during the season. “Nay Nay was there.”

While it’s true that the Warriors extracted revenge by prevailing in the playoffs, 5-0, Chase says garnering a split for her program is a big deal.

“It’s always been a rivalry—since forever,” Chase says. “We caught them off guard. We surprised them a little bit.”

What was not surprising was that Chase was able to achieve such a high academic honor between field hockey and softball seasons when she was named to the National Honor Society last December, one of just 14 new members.

After all, Chase carries a 3.8 grade-point-average and calls government her favorite subject.

Coincidentally, softball St. Michaels coach Shawn Smith teaches the subject.

“Chase is an amazing student,” Smith says. “She is always polite, participates in class discussions, is always positive, and does her very best on every assignment. She is that way on her teams as well. She is always the first to pick up her teammates, leads through example, and has one of the very best attitudes of anyone I’ve ever coached. If you had to pick a kid to start a team with, pick a student you would want to be part of your class, or just pick a wonderful person to be around in your life, Chase is it.”

As a shortstop for the Saints and her Diamond State club travel team, Chase enjoys being where the action is on the softball diamond.

“I love playing shortstop,” she says. “The ball gets hit quicker to you there, and there’s just a lot more to do.” 

And she has a blast playing behind her freshman sister, McKenna, who pitches for St. Michaels.

“McKenna and I have always been a tag team,” says Chase, who admits she has fun batting against McKenna in practice. 

This spring, Chase said she has had two triples and “some little hits here and there.”

Hoping to play sports in college but with no decision made yet on where she will go in the fall of 2016, Chase said she likes both sports.

“Field hockey really challenges me, with all the running and stick skills,” she says. “But I love to play shortstop, too.”

As for her musical tastes, Chase has no particular favorite among rap, country, and hip-hop.

And just because she watches Party Down South on TV, she doesn’t choose to be strictly Southern.

“I do and I don’t (feel Southern),” she says, speaking like a true native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
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