His name is Eurndraus Bryant, but he’s known as “Big E.” And for good reason.
Bryant, a first baseman for the Fort Dorchester High School baseball team, stands 6-2 and tips the scales at 361 pounds.
The big bopper is having a memorable sophomore season. He had seven hits in his first 16 at-bats, including four doubles and three homers. That translates into a .427 batting average and a .957 slugging percentage. Throw in 10 walks and his on-base percentage is a healthy .653.
He’s shined all year, but his biggest moments have come against Stratford. On March 8, he hit a monster drive over the 350-foot sign in center field for a two-run homer that provided the win over the Knights.
“It hit the tennis court and bounced into the parking lot,” coach Jack Radcliffe said. “It was the longest homer I’ve ever seen a high school player hit.”
A week later, Bryant blasted a two-run, walk-off homer to give the Patriots a 5-4 victory over Stratford.
“I was kind of nervous,” Bryant said. “It was a matter of looking for and getting the right pitch.”
Bryant’s season is even more impressive since he had to shake off the baseball rust. His parents, Ernest and Patricia, weren’t happy with his grades his freshman year and made him sit out baseball season a year ago.
“That taught him a lesson,” Radcliffe said. “He knew he had to make the grades. His parents decided to shut him down after his freshman football season. They wanted to make sure he does the work.”
Bryant plays nose tackle for the Patriots.
“He was probably the best player we had on defense this season,” said Radcliffe, who serves as an assistant football coach. “Most people think he will make his living playing football.”
Bryant bench-presses 350 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in five seconds, a remarkable time for such a big guy.
“He’s a heck of an athlete,” football coach Steve LaPrad said. “He probably throws the football as good as anyone we have. He probably runs the ball as good as anyone we have. He is so fast and so big.”
Bryant was a running back in goal-line situations. He’d get the ball and bulldoze his way into the end zone.
“We want him to get down to about 330 pounds,” LaPrad said. “If he does that, he’ll get the ball more often and just not near the goal line.”
Said Radcliffe: “He could lose a few pounds and be a fantastic baseball player if he chooses. He could even pitch. He has such power.”
Bryant has been playing baseball since he was 7 years old. He’s only played football for three or four years. But he’s learning quickly how to disrupt the offensive line. It usually takes two players to keep him out of the other team’s backfield.
“I don’t really know what sport I like best,” Bryant said. “I’ve loved baseball for all my life, but football is coming on strong. I have a big decision to make.”
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