You could rave about the arm, which can throw a football 40 yards downfield on a line or a baseball 90 miles per hour.
You could gawk at the strength and versatility of a 6-foot-3, 215-pound kid who received a combined 19 scholarship offers for football and baseball.
But ask Skyview coaches and teammates what makes Brody Barnum so special, you’ll hear words such as “leadership” and “presence.”
“He’s the heart and soul of this team,” Skyview baseball coach Seth Johnson said.
Last fall, the senior quarterbacked Skyview’s football team to the Class 4A state semifinals.
Six month later, he was pitching for Skyview in the state baseball semifinals at Safeco Field. Two high-profile sports. Two final-four appearances. One athlete at the heart of each team.
That is why Barnum is The Columbian’s All-Region boys multi-sport athlete of the year for 2016-17.
Barnum appreciates what a rare journey the past year has been. He isn’t one who needs 20 years before looking back at the memories he and his teammates have made.
“I look back right now,” he said. “I looked back two days after the football season ended. I looked back the day after we were done at Safeco. These are things I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
There is plenty to remember. As quarterback of Skyview’s football team, he threw for 208.8 yards per game and 24 touchdowns. He also rushed for 48.7 yards per game.
In the postseason, Barnum threw for 391 yards, three touchdowns and rushed for another in a Week 10 win over Olympia. He passed for two TD in a first round win over Chiawana, then threw for 243 yards and three more TDs and a quarterfinal victory over Lake Stevens.
In baseball, Barnum was a force both on the mound and in the batter’s box. He hit .474 with four home runs, 10 doubles, 18 RBI and 23 runs scored in 78 at bats. On the mound, he went 7-2 with a 1.77 earned-run average and 73 strikeouts over 59 1/3 innings.
Barnum was recruited for both his football and baseball skills. Ultimately, he signed with Washington State to play baseball.
As a quarterback, pitcher and hitter, Barnum has learned a wide range of skills.
But ask him about the most important lessons sports have taught, Barnum will talk about attributes that go beyond athletics.
“Hard work and compassion,” he said. “Being that guy who works hard and can put his hand in the dirt, but then also be the guy who can turn around and support his teammates.
“That’s the beauty of sports, to be able to build a relationship with those guys that you’re going to have for the rest of your life.”
Best of the rest
Marco Cadiz, Hudson’s Bay
Junior was All-Region running back in football; second-team all-league outfielder in baseball; played basketball.
Darien Chase, Mountain View
Sophomore was All-Region football as standout receiver and defensive back, and second-team all-league in basketball.
Silas Griffith, Ridgefield
Senior was All-Region in cross country as 2A state champion, and All-Region in track and field as state 3,200 champion.
Dylan Ingram, Camas
Senior was All-Region linebacker in football for state champions; All-Region in wrestling state 220-pound champion.
Daniel Maton, Camas
Sophomore was the All-Region track and field athlete of the year, and All-Region in cross country.
Jeffrey Mayolo, La Center
Senior was All-Region in football, rushed for more than 1,500 yards; All-Region in wrestling as state runner-up at 152.
Cooper McNatt, Camas
Senior was an All-Region receiver for state champion football team; second-team all-league in track; played basketball.
Max Randle, Battle Ground
Senior was All-Region in football with 1,025 receiving yards; and All-Region outfielder in baseball.
Curtis Stradley, Battle Ground
All-Region linebacker in football; All-Region in track as state javelin champion; district champion in wrestling.
Gunner Talkington, Battle Ground
Senior was All-Region catcher in baseball; first-team all-4A GSHL quarterback in football; played basketball.