Bound for Brown |

Bound for Brown

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentRecent Rifle High School graduate Andrew Proebstle is headed to Brown University in Providence, R.I., next school year. The sprinter will compete in track and field at the Ivy League school.

Just a day after leaving Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood on Saturday, site of the state track and field meet, Andrew Proebstle took to a very different stage.

He had a valedictorian speech to deliver at Rifle High School’s graduation.

Proebstle, who helped the track and field Bears to a pair of relay state titles and a team title in 2011, isn’t your typical jock.

Proebstle’s ability to shine using both his legs and brain has set him up with quite the academic and athletic future. Next school year, the swift-footed redhead will attend Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he’ll compete in track and field at the prestigious academic institution.

“The school itself, everyone is super-friendly and cares about you,” he said. “It’s such a warm environment. It’s the happiest Ivy League school in my opinion. That’s an important thing.”

The sprinter is also mighty fond of the track and field program at Brown.

“Their sprints coach, Marc Mangiacotti, is the smartest guy I’ve ever met,” Proebstle said. “I guess what makes them unique is their head coach is actually a female throws coach, Michelle Eisenreich. That’s very, very unique.”

In the classroom, Proebstle is planning a dual concentration in mathematics and computer science.

“I’d like to work in the field of technology,” he said. “I’ve had this dream of being a video game designer ever since I was a kid.”

Proebstle would like to see the world of video games reach its potential.

“You know, the world of video games is criticized heavily,” he said. “I guess what I’m talking about mainly is games like Grand Theft Auto, games that everyone points out are causing violence. I want to take video games and make them central to education, just as art and movies and books already are. For me, video games are a medium that’s not being appreciated quite yet.”

While the pursuit of profit remains an obstacle, Proebstle likes the direction video games are headed.

“There are some really good games being produced right now,” he said. “The market’s finally started to head in the direction to take it further, instead of just being locked into this sort of Call of Duty 1, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty 4 [pattern], where they’re not improving on an idea at all. They’re just replacing it with the same thing because they know that it will sell.”

Just like he’s no ordinary jock, Proebstle is no ordinary computer whiz. His life is all about balance, something Brown University and its track and field program will provide Rifle High’s valedictorian.

“I guess I’m sort of Eastern in this belief, but a more balanced life is a better-lived life,” he said. “To be smart is one thing, but to be smart and athletic is infinitely better. It’s all about the way that I see a successful life for me. It’s one of as much experience and knowledge as I can get.”

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