DeKALB – This will be a different summer for DeKalb’s Brian Sisler.
Now a DeKalb graduate, Sisler isn’t getting ready for the upcoming football season, while playing summer basketball for the Barbs and throwing in some baseball as well. The multi talented, multisport athlete has just one sport to focus on now: preparing for baseball at Northern Illinois.
“It’ll be a little weird. Right now it hasn’t really hit me at all,” Sisler said. “I think next year when the lights are on at the football field, I think it’ll hit me a little bit. But right now, in all honesty, I’m kind of happy to be done and taking a couple of weeks off.”
After the senior year he had, the rest is welcome for the former DeKalb athlete who accomplished the following, and was named the 2011-12 Daily Chronicle Male Athlete of the Year as a result:
• Started at quarterback (throwing for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns) and played defensive back (where he returned two interceptions for touchdowns) for a Barbs football team that ended one game shy of a return trip to the playoffs.
• Started at guard and led DeKalb’s basketball team to a late-season surge that ended with a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference title. For his efforts, he was named the Daily Chronicle’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
• As a second baseman for the baseball team, Sisler hit .342, had 23 RBIs and led the Barbs with 32 runs as DeKalb beat the defending Class 3A state champions Kaneland on the Knights’ home field in the regional semifinals.
It is the second year in a row Sisler has received the honor.
In an era of specialization and high school athletes focusing on just one sport, he never considered dropping any of the three.
“Absolutely not. I enjoy every single one of them,” Sisler said. “Every single one I enjoy going out each day and trying to be a leader, trying to have fun with everything. That’s why I do it, it’s something fun to do.
“My mom always jokes that she’s happy that I play all of these sports. She said it keeps me out of trouble.”
DeKalb basketball coach Dave Rohlman said he was going to miss Sisler’s intangibles and his leadership, adding that Sisler “wills things to happen” on the field.
“One of the things that I like about DeKalb High School and one of the reasons I like to coach here, is that we continue to promote our student-athletes to be as well-rounded as possible, to be two and three sport athletes,” Rohlman said. “And I think Brian Sisler is the perfect example why every student-athlete, every kid in our basketball program should play another sport and be involved in other activities.”
With a couple of weeks left before he goes to play for NIU baseball coach Ed Mathey, Sisler described himself as antsy, ready to get started on the next part of his athletic career.
“It’ll be a little bit different,” Sisler said. “I’m only going to be playing one sport. I’ll be playing baseball. I’m excited for it. I get to start at Northern in a couple of weeks. It’ll be different, but it’s something new.”