Ethan Brown Turning Personal Tragedy Into Greater Purpose

Ethan Brown will never forget his unthinkable two-year nightmare from 2017-18. The now Buckeye Union High School senior suffered a trio of deaths in his immediate family. His grandmother and grandfather passed from Stage 3 lung cancer.

The experience shook his core and left him searching for answers.

Long days turned into even longer nights. His quest for answers went unfulfilled. Brown was confused, depressed.

After stepping away from football his sophomore year and only playing three games last fall he’s back with the support of his family, both at home and between the white lines.

“I really wasn’t myself and I was in a dark place,” Brown emotionally explained to “I just want to thank all the coaches and all the players for the love that we always give each other.”

No coach followed Brown’s path closer than Kelley Moore, who has guided the Hawks since late 2013.

“He had some struggles out in the real world,” Moore said to “He came back this year in the spring, rededicated himself to the game. He’s coming off a great [summer] camp. I’m excited for the kid to continue maturing.”

Brown has taken Moore’s words to heart, regardless of the topic or situation.

“Everything he talks about, no matter what it is,” he said. “If it’s about God or football or life, it’s always right. Everything he says is true. It gives me a lot of strength.”

This off-season, at the suggestion of Buckeye special teams coach Esteban Sierra, Brown was pitched to move from the offensive line to defensive tackle, a position he played growing up.

While he’s focused on being a good teammate and excelling on the field, his main priority is his mental health. The strong, undersized speed rusher is intent on keeping everything in proper perspective, one day at a time.

“Everyone gets down,” he said reflecting back. “I was lost. I didn’t know what to believe in or what to do with myself. I kinda just lost who I was.”

What once was lost is certainly now found for Ethan Brown…and the future has never looked brighter.