Patton, Pudlowski hope to play football for the Lynx
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Brentwood High School seniors Alex Patton and Kyle Pudlowski have signed letters of intent to play football this fall at Lindenwood University – Belleville.
They signed ceremonial letters at a reception at the high school on Thursday before a couple of dozen BHS students, teachers and administrators. Pudlowski actually signed his letter of intent on Feb. 3, Patton on March 17.
BHS Assistant Principal Steve Ayotte and head football coach Keith Herring both addressed the gathering, crediting Patton and Pudlowski for helping make the football program successful. Both players were four-year starters, during which the program went 37-8.
“It’s no accident we were successful,” said Herring. “Both guys, along with all the other seniors, were great leaders. What they did in the weight room kind of set the tone for everybody.”
Herring then paused, smiled and added, “I feel like a proud papa up here for them.”
Pudlowski and Patton will be the only BHS alums on LU – Belleville’s roster. Their former football teammate, 2014 grad Marc Powells, was a redshirt freshman for the school’s basketball program this past season.
Pudlowski said LU’s strength coach first spoke to Patton and him at an after-school weightlifting session at BHS in December. After visiting the university, they applied and were accepted. With grants and scholarships for academics and athletics, both say it’s very affordable, even living on campus.
Said Patton, “I was thinking I would attend Lindenwood − Belleville or Benedictine College in Kansas. It’s cheaper here, I like how they connected with me and it’d be cool to play with Kyle.”
Lindenwood 2-8 last season
LU – Belleville is a private, liberal arts university. It has about 2,000 students and competes in the NAIA Division I. Its 2014 football roster shows 140 players and 16 coaches. The Lynx went 4-7 in 2013 and 2-8 in 2014, head coach Jeff Fisher’s fourth year.
LU recently joined the Mideast League of the Mid-States Football Association. The conference comprises the following universities: Missouri Baptist; Robert Morris, St. Francis and Olivet Nazarene in Illinois; Marian, St. Francis and Taylor in Indiana; and Siena Heights and Concordia in Michigan.
Pudlowski made first team all-district linebacker in 2014 and was named the team’s defensive MVP. He also played tight end and was the kicker on kickoffs. He was all-district at linebacker in 2013 as well.
At 5-feet-10 and 180 pounds he knows he’ll need to gain weight to play linebacker. The 25 linebackers on LU’s 2014 roster averaged 206 pounds.
“I’ll play either linebacker or safety – linebacker if I get bigger,” Pudlowski said. “I want to get to 190 by the time football practice starts in late summer.”
But it’s not as if Pudlowski has never played defensive back. When he started playing football as a sixth grader for the Junior Eagles seven seasons ago, he played cornerback.
Shooting for 260
Patton made second team all-district as an offensive tackle on an offense that averaged 48 points a game in 2014. He played at 250 pounds and dropped to 220 for wrestling this winter. He’s at 230 now and wants to be up to 260 by the time football practice starts in late summer.
“After spring break I’ll start their weightlifting and supplements program,” he said. “I’ll play anywhere on the offensive line or defensive line.”
He plans to major in business or psychology, and to devote one weekend a month to an ROTC program, training to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Here’s a link to the 2014 Lindenwood – Belleville football roster and a team photo.