The corridors of Momence Junior High School are graced with students of diverse interests, but Brogan Daugherty, a 6th-grader with ambitions as vast as the sky above, stands out. “My expectations have definitely gone up this year,” Brogan notes, a thoughtful gaze in his eyes. “Homework is due the next day. There’s more pressure, but it’s a good kind of pressure. It makes you better."
BY GRACE WAITMAN & CRAIG WILLIAMS
A Young Renaissance Man
When asked about his interests, Brogan exudes a unique blend of passion and pragmatism that extends beyond his love for sports. Football is a consuming interest—he’s been playing tackle football for three years—but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. “I really like math. I’ve always been good at it,” he states earnestly. Brogan’s enthusiasm for math is palpable; he eagerly discusses his latest classroom foray into the world of ratios, providing a glimpse into a mind that finds beauty in numbers and equations.
This multidisciplinary enthusiasm hints at the career path he’s pondering. Electrical engineering is on his radar, influenced, no doubt, by his mathematical acumen. “Engineers use math to solve real-world problems, and I think that’s really cool,” he adds.
A Dynamic Learning Environment
Brogan’s candid take on school adds another layer of depth to his character. He admits he isn’t bounding out of bed each morning with uncontrollable excitement, but he does appreciate the education he’s receiving. “School’s alright,” he shrugs, “I mean, it’s not just a place to learn stuff. It’s where you find out about yourself and others, too.”
One of his favorite spots in the school is the library. Managed by the venerable Mrs. Lampley, a librarian who, in Brogan’s words, “rocks,” it serves as a sanctuary for students seeking knowledge or a quiet moment. “She knows how to make learning and reading fun, which is really great,” he remarks.
Deep Roots and Lofty Goals
The town of Momence itself contributes to Brogan’s narrative. With its rich athletic history, including the likes of Adam Siwicki, who coaches and recruits at the D1 level for the Butler Bulldogs, and Ted Petersen—a local hero who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1970s—it offers an aspirational framework for young sports enthusiasts like Brogan.
On the subject of dreams and aspirations, Brogan doesn’t hesitate. “If I had a magic wand, I’d go pro in football,” he says, his face lighting up. Despite his loyalty to the Bears, he’s pragmatic: “At that point, I’d be happy to play for any NFL team, really.”
Family as The North Star
At home, Brogan finds his greatest inspiration in the familiar quarters of family life. As the oldest among his siblings, he feels a sense of responsibility that extends beyond himself. “My parents are special to me. They’ve shaped me into who I am today,” he articulates, the gravity of the sentiment resonating in his voice.
Conclusion: More Than Meets the Eye
So, should you find yourself in the hallways of Momence Junior High and you bump into Brogan Daugherty, you’ll be meeting far more than just another 6th-grader. You’ll meet a young individual who possesses a love for math that rivals his passion for football, who values the importance of a well-rounded education, and who finds strength and inspiration in the warmth of his family circle. In Brogan, you’ll discover a blend of youthful ambition and an age-old wisdom, as he navigates the intricate tapestry of academics, sports, and personal growth.