Gunner Found ’16, was a student-athlete at Brewster for four years, and now attends Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he’s studying chemistry and German. We asked Gunner, now a Kenyon senior, to tell us about his favorite Brewster memories and how college life has been for him.
Bobcat Nation: How did Brewster Academy prepare you for the rigors of life after high school?
Found: I always tried to challenge myself while exploring my core interests at Brewster, and this allowed me to find what I am most passionate about. Two project-based learning (PBL) projects that stand out in my memory are making a bike out of cardboard and coming up with a way to detect drugs in people’s drinks—both projects related to my main academic interests. I learned that I could throw myself into situations and figure out how to solve them, which is important in expanding one’s comfort zone and something I continue to do to this day.
Bobcat Nation: What are your fondest memories of being a student-athlete at Brewster?
Found: The first thing that comes to mind is the time we [the boys' soccer team] won the Lakes Region banner my freshman year. That was a great introduction to high school soccer and a proud moment for the team as well as me personally. I was small in terms of size and strength when I first started playing soccer at Brewster. I began going to the gym and learning about strength training and nutrition. I really enjoyed watching my personal progress of getting stronger, faster, and even taller. To be able to contribute more and more to the boys' soccer team as I progressed through my four years at Brewster was something I’m proud of—and I think it speaks to my discipline and dedication to the sport as well as Brewster.
Bobcat Nation: Can you comment on the teachers or coaches who had an impact on you while you were at Brewster?
Found: There are a few people at Brewster I would like to thank for helping guide me in the right direction during my high school career. All these people served as important mentors during my time at Brewster, and I am grateful to have had the chance to work with all of them. Coach Karl Edmonds took me in freshman year to play on the varsity team. I was easily the smallest of the bunch; however, he believed that I deserved to play at that level. He taught me things I should do on and off the field, like what it meant to take care of yourself whether that was treating or preventing injuries, making smart decisions, or being the better person—and growing up as well as becoming a better footballer, of course. It’s always been important to me to have a good relationship with my coaches and he was definitely someone I felt comfortable around during my time at Brewster, especially during the early years.
The second person I would like to thank is Shamar Whyte. During my junior and senior years we started to work together as he ran my fitness classes. We got along pretty well and during the summer before starting college, we started doing double gym sessions in the Smith Center that included lifting tires, slamming hammers, and running sprints. It was the first time I had taken weight training that seriously and started reaping the benefits of it. He taught me a lot about health and fitness as well any many important real-world lessons that have impacted me in a very positive way.
The last two people I would like to thank are my parents. I am unbelievably grateful for all the support I get from them. Whether it was driving 2.5 hours per day to and from practice, 6+ hours on weekends to games, help with homework, etc. They did it all! I get asked all the time if I dreaded having my parents teach at my high school. Actually, I think it would have been much worse had my parents not been teaching during my time at Brewster. It was nice to always feel their support around me and be able to swing in and say hello between classes and free blocks. That’s something that was special and unique about my experience at Brewster that I’ve realized is a lot harder to do once you’re away at college.
Bobcat Nation: What has been your greatest accomplishment since you have left Brewster?
Found: Apart from completing Organic Chemistry, I would say continuing to challenge myself and try new things has helped me tremendously in college. It’s tough to do at times, but it helps you to become a better person and learn a lot about yourself. A good example is my decision to live and study in Germany this past semester. Coming from the small town of Wolfeboro, which has fewer than 8,000 people, to a big city was a drastic change, not to mention having to speak a foreign language every day. Looking back on it I’m very glad I did it because it expanded my comfort zone and will help me to take on bigger challenges in the future.
Bobcat Nation: Greatest moments while playing in college?
Found: Playing college soccer thus far has been some of my most enjoyable time. The chance to play with around 30 other guys who have the same drive, interests, and mindset as me really has been a blessing, and I try not to take it for granted. There are, of course, the highs of winning our conference two out of the last three years as well as three strong NCAA tournament appearances. However, I would say just having the chance to come down to the field after classes every day and grind it out with my teammates has been some of the best moments for me.
Bobcat Nation: What are you looking forward to this season?
Found: This year we [Kenyon College Mens' Soccer] will be looking to do everything we did last year and more. Every year since I started playing for Kenyon, our team has set very high goals to win every regular season game, win the conference tournament, and have a deep run into the NCAA tournament. I think it speaks to the high standards we have on our team and I’m looking forward to being part of that environment once again.
Bobcat Nation: Advice to current Brewster students?
Found: One thing I’ve noticed nowadays is that people often struggle to think and plan for the long term. Everything has become focused on instant gratification and short-term results. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to do things you won’t necessarily see the benefits of today, rather months or even years down the line, but it’s much more worth it. Learning, health, and fitness are great examples of that. It helps a lot if you can reverse engineer your goals and figure out where you want to be rather than plan it out along the way. That way you have a finish line to reach and it’s much more efficient that just wandering along an uncertain path. That doesn’t mean you have to know exactly what you want to do at a young age, but finding out what field you want to work in, what position you want to have, or even where you want to live can all help you find the person that you want to be. Finding a mentor to help you get you there is also very important no matter where you are in the process. Don’t waste your time making mistakes other people have already made.
Bobcat Nation: What are your plans after college?
Found: I will be graduating with a bachelor’s in chemistry as well as a in German language. I have decided that for a while that I want to live in Europe in a German-speaking country. I will be looking to work in a STEM occupation such as chemist, materials scientist, or something similar.