It was just last Wednesday Brody McGuinn walked onto the football field at Horace Mann for the final time.
But this time was unlike all the other days he toiled on that turf as the Lions’ quarterback. This time it was to say good-bye to Horace Mann after four years and three Ivy League football titles. This time it was for his graduation.
“It was great,” McGuinn said. “It was a nice ceremony under the tent on the field at school. But it was kind of sad, too. I’m going to miss the place a lot.”
And why wouldn’t McGuinn miss his days at Horace Mann? During his four years as part of the Lions’ football program, they reached four Ivy League championship games — winning three, including the last two. He also was named to the All-State team this past season.
Not a bad resume to be toting off to college in the fall.
“Those were just some great memories,” McGuinn said. “But also the time spent making new friends. I kind of found my group there. Now I have lifelong friends.”
But it’s not just the sports accolades McGuinn will miss at Horace Mann. There also was four years of being challenged in the classroom.
“I’m definitely going to miss the whole environment,” McGuinn said. “I think I’ve had a great set of teachers throughout my four years at HM, and I can’t thank them enough for teaching me things that I’ll use in college and for the rest of my life.”
McGuinn will leave the confines of Horace Mann for a small college in Pennsylvania later this summer — Dickinson College in Carlisle. He’s still not quite sure if he’ll continue his football playing days.
“Right now I’m undecided on whether I’m going to play football because playing football is secondary to academics for me,” McGuinn said. “But the reason I might want to play is the opportunity to be part of a team and that’s the same experience I had at HM. The first thing I did when I went to HM was go to a football practice, and that’s where I found my friends. And they‘re still my group of people now.”
Before he heads to Dickinson, McGuinn has a family trip to the Caribbean coming up, and plans to spend as much time as possible with his Horace Mann friends over summer.
“We’re all trying to spend as much time with each other as we can before we all scatter to the wind,” he said.
McGuinn leaves for Dickinson in late August, and while he comes to grips with having to say good-bye to his beloved Horace Mann, there is a combination of trepidation and excitement about starting college.
“I’m kind of excited and nervous at the same time,” McGuinn said. “I’m a little bit of everything. This is kind of different for me because I’m kind of branching out, and it’s going to be a totally new experience. There’s only 180 kids in my grade (at Horace Mann), and it’s going to be a much larger group of people at Dickinson. But I’m excited for it because it’s something new.”
One thing not many know about McGuinn is that he also was part of another team at Horace Mann. This one had nothing to do with sports — and everything to do with invention.
“I’m into robotics and stuff like that,” McGuinn said. “That might come as a shock to some people because I was the quarterback on the football team, but I was also a part of the robotics team in the basement at school.
“We created robots that were meant to perform a specific task, so every year there is a game and in that game there were different tasks that you would have to do, like place blocks in a container and things like that. So we’d build a robot designed to complete those tasks.”
While McGuinn still has to make a decision about playing football in college, he said he may also still dabble in robotics. It was then suggested to him that his next invention be a robot who could do his laundry. You know, to save Mrs. McGuinn from facing mountains of dirty clothes on her son’s visits home.
“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” McGuinn said, laughing. “That would be nice.”