The pressure of athletics can sometimes be insurmountable.
But Perry High School’s Brock Heffron has turned that pressure into success since he was 8-years old. As a BMX star in his youth, Heffron accumulated four national championships and four world championships, traveled to 35 states and four countries, rode on the Today Show and was voted on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids alongside Peyton Manning.
After a decorated BMX career, the Heffrons decided to trade in the bike for some football pads and a baseball glove. Despite coming from an individual sport, Brock embraced his role as a teammate. He was a running back and linebacker on the football team and played four positions on the baseball team.
“He’s had some experiences that I’m sure have made him grow up a little quicker than the other kids. Just him doing those things and having those experiences, I don’t think he’s intimidated out here,” Perry head baseball coach Shane Hilstrom said.
BMX conditioned Brock for competing on big stages, but also instilled a strong work ethic at a young age.
“He learned early the more time he put in, the faster he got, the better shape he was in, the longer he could race,” Brock’s mother, Beckie Heffron, said. “To become a better athlete means working hard, and I think he works very hard in the classroom to maintain his grades. He knew the end result would get him to college.”
That’s exactly where he is going.
Brock is committed to Wabash College in Indiana, where he will be playing both football and baseball. He is not only a standout in athletics, but in the classroom as well. Alongside his athletic awards sit academic accolades including being named a Valley of the Sun Chapter Scholar Athlete from the National Football Foundation. The mix of strong academics, along with an opportunity to play both sports, made Wabash a perfect fit for Brock.
“A kid like Brock doesn’t like to sit on the sidelines. If you go to certain schools, he may sit on the sidelines for a couple years, and I don’t think that is going to happen where he is going,” Perry head football coach Preston Jones said.
“I chose (Wabash) because the men who go there are very high class and respectful people, but the success rate and the people they become after college is even better,” Brock said.
Brock has a unique opportunity being a multi-sport collegiate athlete, which was something that was embraced instantly at Perry High School when he transferred in as a junior.
“I feel like each coach tries to get you to do multiple sports. You’re young and once you’re past high school, the chance to play multiple sports is really difficult. I feel when you’re young, you should be able to play as many sports as you want,” Brock said.
The Perry coaching staff embraced that mentality as well. In fact, many of the coaches share athletes within the Puma program. The head baseball coach, Shane Hilstrom, and wrestling coach, Darren Johnson, are on the football coaching staff as well. Thanks to their support and his hard work, Brock thrived.
“I always talk about Perry High School being an extension of our family. When we enroll in Perry, we have to release our son to some wonderful people,” John Heffron, Brock’s father, said. “What we like about Wabash is we felt we were taking the next step in to get his college degree, but he was going to another place that was an extension of our family.”
As his family and support system continue to grow as he goes on to the next level, expect Brock’s success on the field and in the classroom to continue as well.