When Keith Brown comes to a Charter School of Wilmington sporting event, you know it.
He’s impossible to miss. He’s nonstop loud, funny, demonstrative — and all positive. And he leaves a lasting impression in firing up the Force’s athletes and their fans.
The 59-year-old is in his 28th year working for the Red Clay Consolidated School District. He has coached football, basketball and track and field at the old Wilmington High, A.I. du Pont and Delcastle.
Now, Brown serves as a paraprofessional at the Cab Calloway School of the Arts, which shares the former Wilmington High building with the Charter School of Wilmington. He keeps Cab students fired up during the school day, and since they also compete on Charter’s athletic teams, he comes to watch them play and offer encouragement.
“The players ask me to come out. ‘Coach, you coming out to watch us play?’” Brown said. “So I come out here to cheer them on, to lift up their spirit, to make them feel good about themselves and their school and have school spirit.
“And not just that, it helps them in life. When the odds are against you, you don’t give up. You have a vision, you keep moving forward. You stand strong, like the evergreen tree. Stand strong and keep pushing.”
“Look good! Look good! Look good! Look sharp!”
Brown’s vociferous talents were on full display on May 3, during the Charter softball team’s 6-3 home victory over Archmere. He yelled, stomped, sang and cheered throughout the game, especially between innings.
It was his first appearance at a softball game this spring, and the team — and everybody else — noticed.
“You can always tell the difference when Mr. Brown is out here,” junior Rachel Harrison said. “He just brings so much energy to the team in any sport.”
With Brown in the bleachers, there was never a dull moment.
“We’re happy to have him whenever he comes out here,” assistant coach Matt Voltz said. “… There’s more energy or hop, especially defensively, for us. They’re cheering, they’re more into the game than they would be otherwise.”