We talk about playing multiple sports in high school helps all the student-athletes prepare to play at the college level. Brett Norfleet from Francis Howell is a prime example of how one sport helps him get ready for another sport as he is a standout on the Vikings football team in the fall and a leader on the diamond in the spring.
Norfleet was one of the top offensive weapons for the Howell football team this past fall with over 400-yards receiving and five touchdowns. In the spring, he is leading the area in home runs with eight, tied for first in the area with seven triples, and has a team-high .446 batting average with 47 runs batted in for the Vikings.
Howell is currently 26-8 on the season and Norfleet is a big reason for that. The junior is pleased with how the season has gone as they get ready for district action that begins this weekend.
“As a team, we are moving along pretty well with a lot of stuff clicking for us,” stated Norfleet. “There are some things that we must clean up week by week and Coach Tony Perkins is doing things to implement that during our practices. I am excited for the next week with districts coming up and I truly believe that this team can make the run.”
As an individual on the team, he is a catalyst for the Vikings and has seen his game improve over the past year with plenty of reps in the cage and game situations.
“I go through a pre-game routine in the cage and when we get the chance to hit live on the field,” said Norfleet. “At the plate, I am staying patient and I am staying true to my backside and just looking to hit the ball hard someplace.”
One of the biggest things for Norfleet is learning the game from a coach that has won over 600 games in his career and has coached many players that have moved on to the next level. Coach Perkins has shown Norfleet a lot about that game that he takes with him into every contest.
“Playing for a guy like Coach Perkins is special, not only for me but for my team,” stated Norfleet. “Coach brings a lot to the table with his knowledge. We have a special relationship as I have played for him for the past three years and I am thankful to play for him.”
Being an outstanding multi-sport athlete and getting things done in the classroom takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. Norfleet has been able to find that balance to make sure that he is prepared on the field and in the classroom.
“It is tough to maintain that high level and I try to keep a balanced schedule each day,” said Norfleet. “As I start my mornings, there are days that I work out before I go to class, and then I get to practice, but there are times that I get my homework done before practice. Some of my classes have been tough, so I am also staying after school to get some help. It is all about using the resources that are put in front of you and at the end of the day, that is how you can be successful.”
Norfleet is showing how being a multi-sport athlete can help you in both sports that he participates in. His time on the football field has helped him on the baseball diamond and how baseball is carried over to his football career.
“Playing on the football team has helped me become tougher, not only physically, but mentally,” stated Norfleet. “Coach Chojnacki is tough on us, and I am thankful for that as I would not be where I am at if I was not put through football. It also has helped me in facing adversity as playing football has transitioned over to playing baseball and that is huge for us.”
As a junior, Norfleet is just now starting to go through the recruiting process as he is starting to meet with coaches in both of the sports that he is participating in. With the process beginning, he is seeing all of this for the first time, and it is all hitting very quickly for him.
“It is a lot right now as it seems like I was hit by a big wall as it is all coming at me all at once, said Norfleet. “There are days that be overwhelming, but there is not a day that goes by that I am thankful for being in the spot I am in.”
Norfleet was not able to play baseball his freshman year due to COVID-19 shutting down all the spring sports and during his sophomore season, there were still many protocols that had to be adhered to. That has sparked a fire for him and his teammates on the baseball field to be successful during this spring as we are starting to get back to normal with big crowds watching them play.
“Not being able to play my freshman year was not good for all of us,” stated Norfleet. “That group of seniors was special, and I wish that I could have played with them. I would say that it has lighted a fire in me because it can all be taken away just like that. You never know when your season might end, so you always have to play like it will be your last game.”
Congratulations to Brett Norfleet from Francis Howell on being named our HSSC/Scoops with Danny Mac Student-Athlete of the Week and we wish him and the Vikings baseball team best of luck in the upcoming state playoffs.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan