It’s quite an accomplishment for a high school to have one of its graduates playing sports at the professional level, but Brownsburg (Indiana) High School can currently boast of five former Bulldogs playing baseball, basketball and football at the highest levels.
Lance Lynn, who has become one of the top starting pitchers in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, and Drew Storen, who is one of the top relief pitchers in the major leagues with the Washington Nationals, started the ball rolling after leading Brownsburg to the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A State Baseball Championship in 2005.
Lynn, a senior, and Storen, a sophomore, led the Bulldogs to a 35-0 record in 2005 and the school’s first state baseball title. Lynn registered a 16-0 record and batted .400 with 14 home runs, while Storen was 9-0 as the duo carried Brownsburg to the IHSAA title. For their careers, Lynn recorded 39 wins on the mound and Storen had 30 victories and a 1.55 earned-run average.
Now in his fourth season with the Cardinals, Lynn has been one of the most successful starting pitchers during the past three years with 48 victories (as of September 15). In his fifth season with the Nationals, Storen had 43 saves in 2011 and has 20 holds and a 1.29 ERA this year.
Following Lynn and Storen to the major leagues was Tucker Barnhart, a 2009 graduate of Brownsburg High School. As a junior in 2008, Barnhart hit .500 and was named to one high school All-American team, and as a senior he was named Mr. Baseball in Indiana. Barnhart made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds this year after four years in the Reds’ minor league farm system.
About the same time that Lynn and Storen started their professional baseball careers, Gordon Hayward launched his professional basketball career with the Utah Jazz after many memorable high school and college experiences.
Hayward hit the game-winning basket in the title game to lead Brownsburg to the 2008 Class 4A IHSAA State Basketball Championship, and he averaged 18 points and eight rebounds as a senior. As a sophomore at Butler (Indiana) University, Hayward led his team (also the Bulldogs) to a Cinderella appearance in the NCAA Final Four. In the championship game against Duke, he barely missed a half-court shot that would have won the game for Butler.
Hayward completed his fourth season with the Jazz last year and averaged a career-best 16.2 points per game. He recently received a new four-year contract and will be Utah’s veteran leader in 2014-15.
The final member of the Brownsburg High School professional quintet is Chris Jones, a defensive tackle with the New England Patriots in the National Football League. Jones is a 2009 graduate of Brownsburg High School, where he earned all-state honors as a senior and registered seven sacks.
Jones appeared in 13 games with the Patriots during the 2013 season, including 11 starts. He had 58 tackles and led all NFL rookies with six sacks.