A Murrieta high school senior will follow in the footsteps of the many leaders who have helped write our nation’s history by attending the United States Military Academy West Point. Chris Brehm, an awarded winning baseball player and successful student, will head to the East Coast in June after accepting an athletic scholarship to the 201-year old historical Academy. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River 50 miles north of New York City, West Point is considered one of the most difficult schools to get into.Since his days playing in Little League, Brehm has dreamt about attending a top college like Stanford for baseball with hopes for a career in the majors, but never did he imagine himself at a school whose list of alumni’s included; Army General and President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant, Supreme Commander of the Pacific from 1941-45 Douglas Mac Arthur, astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin and Commander in Chief, Central Command, Operation Desert Storm H. Norman Schwarzkopf. “I like the overall prestige of the school, not only to play baseball, but I can get the best education, and military experience,” Brehm said during an interview with he and his family at their Murrieta home. “The caliber of people who have graduated from West Point is amazing,” said Elisabeth Brehm, Chris Brehm’s mother. Chris Brehm, a catcher, was offered a scholarship worth more than $225,000 last year after he was spotted by a baseball scout for West Point while playing with the Amateur Baseball Development (ABD) Bulldogs travel team.Scouts watched Chris Brehm play during a tournament in Florida, liked what they saw, and flew him out to see the Academy. “I toured the school, sat in a few classes, went to a football game and a baseball game,” said Chris Brehm. “The coaches said they liked his intensity and, if anything, they would have to slow him down,” said Elisabeth Brehm. The visit to West Point made such an impression on Chris Brehm he took only a week to decide to accept the school’s offer. Although he was offered a scholarship, he still had to apply for admission into the school. Quickly Chris Brehm and his family learned how competitive the school could be. Some of the many challenges Chris Brehm faced were retaking the Standard Aptitude Test (SAT) to raise his math score, having teachers write recommendations, writing numerous essays and securing a congressional nomination.Without a nomination from a member of Congress or the Senate, a person cannot be accepted into West Point. After going in front of Congresswoman Mary Bono from the 45th District, she agreed to nominate Chris Brehm. Coach of the ABD Bulldogs, Mike Spiers said he was not surprised by Chris Brehm’s nomination and offer to West Point. “He is a self made player. He has a lot of desire and enthusiasm. His appointment to the Academy fits his character,” Spiers said. Spiers said he would point out Chris Brehm’s success to other players as the years go by.“Chris is a natural leader. He is a role model and kids look up to him and admire how hard he works,” Spiers said. Spiers said he credits Chris Brehm’s work ethic to his parents Elisabeth and Al Brehm, who are both elementary school teachers. “Chris would not be where he is today if it wasn’t for his parents offering him every opportunity they could,” Spiers said. “ My parents instilled in me a good work ethic – to work hard for what you want,” Chris Brehm said. Chris Brehm’s mother, father, and 18-year-old sister Melissa, will travel with him to West Point on June 28 where he will begin a six-week boot camp before the fall semester. “I am so proud of him. I know he will succeed,” said Al Brehm.
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