By Drew Beck
Reggie Lewis Center, an indoor track facility sitting in the smack-dab middle of urban Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Brady Shorey, a precocious and scrawny middle-schooler from North Attleboro, preparing to run his first relay race at the hallowed track and field landmark.
Love at first site? Perhaps. A prophetic sign of things to come? More likely.
When Shorey first toed the line at Reggie Lewis, he could only dream of running as fast as the elite sprinters he saw hammering around the track’s curved banks. He had no idea that a short four years later he too would join their ranks.
“I remember being so nervous, yet so excited, that first time I ran at Reggie,” recalls Shorey. “After running there, I began to take track seriously as a sport.”
Now, a senior in high school, Brady Shorey looks to be a contender for the All-State 55m dash title in February. The meet will be held, as it is every year, at the very place Shorey first entertained thoughts of winning track races.
However, Shorey’s tale is more than a tale of running. In fact, though he blends in with other high-schoolers at North Attleboro, his life-story colors him in a very unique way.
Of Puerto Rican descent, Brady is adopted. Though his birth-mother attempted to support Brady, she lacked the financial resources to adequately sustain him. So, in an effort to provide the best life for her son, she put him up for adoption. It wasn’t long before two white, Christian missionaries from Florida immediately bonded with this young, bright-eyed boy. Bringing Brady into their already large family of five children, the Shoreys continued their travels around the globe as a result of their missionary work. After stops in New York and North Korea, Brady and his newfound family finally settled down in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Because of their extensive travels, the Shorey’s home-educated all of their children. Julie Shorey, the mother of this ever-growing family, administrates a homeschool tutorial center that teaches nearly 150 students from fifth to twelfth grade. Through this connection and his church, Brady became known as a fun-loving kid who was a friend to anyone. However, it wasn’t long before Brady’s athletic ability began to garner notice.
Throughout his early teenage years, Brady blossomed into a star on the court, field, and track. Though he turned some heads in both basketball and football, he really opened eyes when he ran.
“I ran for the YMCA Jaguars, a youth track and field team, with two of my sisters,” explains Shorey. “It was just a simple, fun, and relaxing way to stay in shape and enjoy the sport. While the program laid the foundation for my later success by teaching me proper sprinting technique at a young age, it also taught me to always keep running enjoyable. Because of this club, I believe I entered high school ahead of my sprinting peers.”
Although he remains homeschooled, Shorey is allowed to compete for North Attleboro. Certain school districts permit homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities for their local high schools, and Shorey took full advantage by wreaking havoc in athletics.
“After playing football and basketball, I focused on spring track, ready to embrace whatever happened,” says Shorey. “Fortunately, I showed a lot of promise, running 11.47 FAT in the hundred meter dash my freshman year. Moving into sophomore year, I decided to give up basketball and compete in both seasons of track. I felt this gave me the best chance to fulfill my running potential. Sophomore year, I ran solid FAT times of 6.77 (55m) and 11.26 (100m).”
Junior year, Shorey was fully prepared to further improve upon his already fast times. Most unfortunately, he suffered an unusual injury at the tail-end of his football season. With less than two weeks remaining, Shorey’s arch collapsed. While excruciatingly painful, this type of injury was also a devastating blow to his quickness and ability to run. As one of the squad’s leaders, Shorey refused to give in to the pain.
“After the injury, I visited the trainer,” recalls North’s starting running back. “It wasn’t a pretty sight, and I wasn’t able to move very well or effectively, but I went to practice the next day. I needed to be there for my guys, and by playing, I felt that I was doing my role in getting the team fired up for the final two games of the year.”
Almost unbelievably, the injury that hampered Shorey’s quickness, agility, and flat-out speed in football failed to slow him down during indoor track last year. After patient rehabilitation and a relatively quiet regular-season, Shorey torched the track once the championship season started. Improving his 55m time to a scintillating 6.65 FAT, North’s rocket was Massachusetts’ second-fastest under-classman of 2010.
The momentum continued into the outdoor season as well. Winning the Hockomock League meet against state-recognized runners from Mansfield, Sharon, King-Philip, and Oliver Ames with an 11.01 FAT became Shorey’s most memorable moment of his short-career.
Ever since that fateful day at Reggie Lewis four years ago, Brady Shorey has patiently waited his turn to become Massachusetts’ fastest. With six weeks until All-States, he only has to wait a little longer.
Food: My mom’s taco salad
Actor/Actress: Denzel Washington
Movie: American Gangster
Musical Act: Notorious B.I.G.
Class: Anatomy and Physiology
Role Model: Darren Sproles
Athlete: Tyson Gay
Spike Brand: Nike
Pre-Race Ritual: Stare down line envisioning the race, do a tuck-jump, settle into blocks, shake out legs (left first, then right), crack neck, and stay relaxed until right before the gun
Can’t Live Without: My shoes
Dream Job: Personal Trainer
Most Memorable Track Moment: Winning the Hocks 100m; Running the SMR with my teammates at Nike Indoor Nationals