AJ Brinley » AJ's Recent Posts

AJ's Recent Posts


Recent Posts

Finishing touches and a long weekend

I hope you are all doing well. Just a quick update on what is going on in my life. Recently I have been diligently filling out scholarship applications. Filling out applications is not very fun but I am sure it will pay off in the long run. Soccer is going well. I am still lifting in my spare time but now I am also beginning conditioning for club soccer. I am hoping to get in really good shape this year so it will carry over to the fall season in college. This week is our last indoor practice for club and next week we will be back outside which is very exciting because there is so much more room to play with outside, plus the drive is shorter. Our first tournament is just around the corner and I am very excited to see how the team will size up against our opponents. Lastly, for the long weekend, I got to kick back and relax with family and friends. I was even introduced to two new games I had never played before: Quelf and Speak Out. I recommend both games as they were lots of fun. Have a great week. Go Mohawks!!!

Aj Signing
Congrats to Ana Sulentic and Hannah Clements on signing to play soccer in college! This week the three of us signed to go further our education and soccer careers. I as well as the girls are very excited to go off and keep doing what we love at a competitive level. I have really enjoyed my time on the soccer team here at Madison and will be proud to represent Madison at the University of Findlay. The signing itself went really well. We had a good turn out and many of my friends came to support me. I got to thank everyone for being there, my parents for taking me near and far throughout my soccer career, and coach Markle for making me a better player each year I played on his team. I wish Hannah and Ana all the best at their colleges, I know you both do great things!

National Signing Day & Super Bowl Sunday

February 7th is national signing day, which means that this Wednesday I will be signing informally at the high school. I will also be signing alongside: Hannah Clements who will be attending King University, and Ana Sulentic who will be attending Saint Joseph’s University. We are all very excited to sign and expect a nice turnout. Ana, Hannah, and I are the only senior athletes who are going on to play a sport in college and we all play soccer! The three of us have kept up on each other in our college search and we are all glad to see that we have each found a college that will fit us. Congratulations to both Ana and Hannah, I cannot wait to see where this journey will take us, I wish you both the best as you play throughout the years.

Today is also Super Bowl Sunday! I am not too involved in the NFL but I know enough about rules players and teams to have a good idea on what is going on. I don’t really care much for wins and who loses. But today I will be spending my Sunday at a friends house. Our group of friends are all going to meeting together to watch the football game, enjoy each other’s company, watch commercials, and enjoy really good food. On Super Bowl Sunday I usually spend the day with my family and we’ll order pizza and watch the game but this will be nice change. Thank you all for reading, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Go Mohawks!!!


Today I want to quickly talk about dedication and what it means to me. Dedication is defined as committing to a task or purpose. I would define it exactly as that. I feel that I am a very dedicated person... to soccer and making myself better. I think to be dedicated to something also means you must have a strong passion for whatever you are dedicating yourself too or else you may fail to reach your goals. I would also say I have a strong passion for soccer.  I have committed myself to workout plans for better footwork and workout plans for strength building. Personally I believe it really pays off to give dedication to something, especially when it’s something that means alot to you. For instances school, if you read your assignments, complete your homework, study for tests and prepare in advance for projects, you will get good grades. It only sets up good habits for what’s ahead for you. As you continue through school each year it gets harder and harder. They are building blocks though for the next step in life, for me that’s college. If you want something out of life it takes work and dedication. Work and dedication comes easy when it’s a passion that you have. I workout regularly between my sport seasons to keep in shape. This is hard work but it pays off when I hit the soccer field the first few weeks of the season. I’m not winded when we run and I have better stamina to run the necessary drills we are doing. I workout six days a week at the gym for about two hours. This takes a lot of time out of my day but I think it worth it.  I hope Physical Therapy will become a great passion for me in my future so that the job itself is enjoyable to me.     

Settling in and club soccer

This past week I finally started getting use my new class schedule. Winter break is long gone and I am just now getting use to my schedule. To be fair we have not had a normal 5 school day week since December. These snow days are very sought after considering we did not have a single snow day last year. I believe this year we’ve already had 3 snow days and 1 two hour delay. This week my club soccer team had their first practices. I am very glad to be back with some of my friends, and to start playing competitive soccer again. In March our season will start with a showcase tournament in Cincinnati. So that means that our season is very close. In past years I have been on some team that do not start as early as March, I never liked that too much because I always seemed like we practice for months upon months and only play for a short amount of time. Now we practice for around a month and a half and our season will slowly begin. I hope you all have a wonderful week!! GO MOHAWKS!!!

2nd Semester

This is my final semester as a Madison High School student. I am only one semester away from graduating from high school! I am very excited for this semester, I know it will be lots of fun. It is Thursday, January 11th, our fourth school day of this semester. I am beginning to catch onto my new daily routine. Christmas break was a lot of fun. I got to hangout with my friends and family, and I got to sleep in most days! I had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Spending it with my friends and family is how I always celebrate and this year was no exception. For the first time probably ever I was wanting school to start back up, just so we beginning my final semester. I know I have said this too many times but the thought of me being gone and off to college in 7 or 8 months is bizarre. For right now I am trying to apply for as many scholarships as I can. Applying for all of these scholarships is something I have never done before, and it is kind of overwhelming. I get probably 3 emails a day from these scholarship websites that tell me to apply to these scholarships, most of which I am not eligible for (due to location). Nevertheless I must push through all of this because it all over soon. Although it can be a bit too much at times, I know I must press on and keep applying for new scholarships or else I will regret it when I am paying for my student debt. Thank you for reading, and I hope you all have a great weekend! Go Mohawks!!

Christmas Break

First semester of my senior year is over. I am surprised as to how quickly it passed by, but this is also exactly how I expected things would go. Before I started high school and all throughout high school people have told me that my high school years will fly by, and they were right. High school is quickly coming to a close and it seems like it all just started not too long ago. Only one semester is left of my high school career and as exciting as it sounds it is also bizarre to think that I will be living on my own soon, doing my own things, and making my own choices. Senior year has by far been my favorite year of high school and I am only halfway through it! I imagine that second semester will only be better. We will completing all of our remaining credits in preparation for graduation. As for my first semester finals. I think my first semester finals went very well. I never came across anything I did not know and every answer I got was logical. I do not have any plans over the break except for visiting with family for Christmas. Nevertheless I will be making the most of this break by spending time with my friends and family. Hopefully we can get a few days of snow so my friends and I can go sledding. I am also excited for the new year because as you all know 2018 is my graduating year! I have had lots of great memories in 2017 and I expect even more good times in 2018. Thank you all for making 2017 so enjoyable!  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Winter Favorites

The first day of winter is next Thursday, December 21st but I figured this week would be best for me to talk about my favorite things of winter. So here are my favorite things of winter.

Snow: Although, I don’t like the cold as much as I like warm weather. I do enjoy snow, snow is something not everyone can experience and it is something I am glad I can experience. When snow is falling I think it always looks so nice, it brings a relaxing sense to my day. Even a few days after it snows, snow is on the ground. After it snows you can also go play in the snow. I know my friends and I are planning on sledding lots (weather permitting) this winter. With snow also comes the potential snow day!

Sledding: At Madison we have the wonderful “church hill” for those of you who don’t know what the church hill is, I will tell you. The church hill is a very big hill not too far from the school. Atop the hill is a church, hence the name church hill. Every year after it snows, everyone of all ages goes to this hill, some with families, to sled. My friends and always make efforts to go there and sled. It truly is a lot of fun. I have also been to perfect north slopes, which is always fun with friends, but there is also a place in New Paris, Ohio, called Valley’s Edge Snow Tubing. I have went here many times, sometimes with friends, and it has been lots of fun. It is not too popular which is a shame, because it is such a nice place. Although it is nice since it is not a well known place you do not have to worry too much about waiting in long lines.

Christmas Lights: I have always liked Christmas lights. I think it is always fun to put out Christmas lights. I think it is always cool to go look at Christmas lights. Whether big or small any Christmas lights are cool to see. At our house we always string Christmas lights around our trees, and put out an inflatable snowman. This year we finally put out our icicle lights along the edge of our roof. We haven’t done this in a while and I am glad we finally put them out. Lastly, I always liked to go this Christmas light parks and farms to look at Christmas light displays. I think is cool to see all the colors spread across an area for all to see.

Christmas Movies: It seems like during Christmas time I always watch a lot more movies than I usually do. These of course are Christmas movies. I really enjoy watching these movies but I did really enjoy them when I was little. Every Christmas Eve when we were little we use to watch The Polar Express, now that we are older as a family we watch the movie Elf. I am glad we have this family tradition at our house. It is always nice to kick back with your family on Christmas Eve. I know I will have family traditions at my house for Christmas.

Watching my dog play in snow: My dog Koda is a house dog, but she does love to be outside… when it’s warm. For some odd reason when it snows she’ll just run around in the snow bouncing up and down. When my brother and I were smaller we would sled on the hill next to our house and Koda would always race us down the hill and jump on us, or she would try to bite and pull our sleds out from underneath us so she could beat us down the hill. After a while though she’ll want to come inside, and sit next to our warm fireplace.

Thank you all for reading, I’ll be right back here next week!

Merry Christmas!!

AJ holding his commitment letter to the University of Findlay
I have officially committed to the University of Findlay. At Findlay I will begin the next phase of my life to work towards my physical therapy degree, the best part of it all, I will get to continue my soccer career! The University of Findlay is located in Findlay, Ohio. From my house Findlay is a simple 2 hours north, up I-75. Findlay is not too big of a school nor is it too small, with a student population of 3,661 I think Findlay will do nicely. Findlay also has a very good physical therapy program, they call it the three two program. The three two program consists of 3 years of undergraduate studies and 2 years of graduate studies, taking only 5 years to get my degree in physical therapy. I have been up to Findlay many different times and I have always enjoyed it. Findlay is the second largest city of northwest Ohio, so that means I will have lots to do when I am not studying or practicing. This news means the recruiting process is over. Now that is over I can say that I am very glad it is over, although it has been a lot of fun. Doing what I have done is something that not very people get to undergo. Traveling around Ohio to colleges has been so much fun, not only that but being able to play at these college has been such a great experience. I am excited to see how my life will change in college. I will have to do my own laundry, I will be responsible for showing up to classes, I will not have anyone pushing me to finish my project, or study a little bit more, I will have to go to bed at reasonable hours. I will miss some classes due to games being scheduled during class, but I will work a little harder to get those notes, and understand the class assignment. I know I can be successful as a college student with these added responsibilities. In fact, at Findlay they have these things called study groups. Study groups is a time set aside for freshman athletes to get together and study or complete class assignments with each other and tutors. This is set in place to make sure that freshmen get good grades and get acclimated to college.

Thanksgiving and Sports

Hello all,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My thanksgiving was good. I got to stay home this year while my grandparents came down to visit with us. It really makes for a simple relaxing break. Now that Thanksgiving is over we have all kinds of food in our refrigerator, but more importantly, Christmas is nearing! I have already seen many “Christmas deals” commercials, just like every year around this time, and seeing them puts me in the holiday spirit. I have already seen lots of christmas lights decorating houses and trees. I know tomorrow my father and I plan on putting out lights along our roof and around our trees, as well as our blow up santa clause. I am sure it will not be long before we are going to Light Up Middletown, and other christmas light shows. Hopefully as a family we can go to a big light show this year.

Football season has finally come to a close. It was a great season for the Mohawks. Going to the playoffs was an awesome experience for the entire community. I am very proud of the boys for what they have done. Even though they did not make it to finals they were at least the best of 4 in the entire state! Having a home opener was such a cool experience, with the entire community coming out to support the team, it was something I never saw before. Then traveling around with my fellow students to watch the team was very fun too. All in all I am glad to see so much success in the football team. But now that the football team is no longer playing it is kind of sad to think I will never attend another high school football game, at least as a student. However, basketball season is very close! Just yesterday I saw that the Madison Mohawks Instagram account had posted about the basketball season being right around the corner. With the football season extending longer than ever, basketball season is upon us. I am very excited to see how the basketball team will do this year. I will always be cheering them on from the bleachers. GO MOHAWKS!!

AJ at the North Carolina, Raleigh Showcase series

This weekend I am in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am here for the North Carolina Showcase Series. This tournament is exclusively for high school athletes wanting to play soccer in college. Being one of the biggest showcase tournaments in America, 250+ Colleges from all across the nation are here. Throughout my high school career I have been to many showcases. But nothing compares to this tournament. There are 20 different complexes around Raleigh that are being used for this tournament, only 2 of these complexes have one soccer field at them. The showcases I usually go to are set at a single complex with a few fields. Ever since my freshman year of high school I have traveled great distances to showcases, but it wasn’t until my junior and senior of high school that I actually saw college coaches watching our games. As a freshman the very first showcase I ever participated in was in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I remember being very nervous about the entire tournament. As the tournament went on I realized no college coaches were going to watch our game. The college coaches only wanted to see the upperclassmen play because they were closest to graduating. Sophomore year I was not nervous at all. Now knowing college coaches probably wouldn’t be watching any of my games I just played on as if it were any other tournament. My junior year I was reaching out to a few coaches to try to get them to my games. They would show up and we would keep in contact after the tournament and that was that. I would say maybe 1 to 3 coaches showed up to my games junior year… maybe 1 to 3. Keep that in mind, 1 to 3 college coaches my entire junior year of playing soccer. As a senior, at this tournament alone 40+ coaches have been at our games, we have only played two games so far and we still have one more on Sunday. Our team ran out of team flyers to hand coaches. This experience is only I will always remember. This is only the beginning of my club soccer season, with many other showcases on our schedule, I am excited for what is to come. If I had any advice for any coaches in any sport who have players worthy of playing in college it would be this: put your players in showcases each year of high school. This will get the nervousness out of the players, around the time the nervousness is gone, is around the time college coaches actually consider you for their team.

Congrats to the football team for beating the West Jefferson Roughriders, and becoming regional champions! We are now in the final 4 of the entire state. I cannot wait for this Friday’s game, as I will be back in Ohio and in attendance. Since my family and I were in Raleigh we got to listen to a broadcast of the game in our hotel room. I am glad it was broadcasted because I don’t think I could rely on the Madison Mohawk twitter account to keep me up to date, I wanted to hear the play by play. As we were listening to the broadcast we could hear Mohawk fans screaming and yelling, in an attempt to get the team hype. I really wish I could have been there because I am sure the atmosphere at Beavercreek high school was one you cannot describe. It will only get crazier from here. GO MOHAWKS!!!

The Football Team

The football team has conquered CHCA and they are onto the Regional finals! I am very excited for the team for getting this far and I am excited to see what is to come. Before the football season began this year, there was talk of us going to the playoffs. I heard it and thought it would be cool if we did make it to the playoffs. But I also thought not us, not small Madison. Yet here we are! I am so proud of the team for what they have accomplished. Winning this week means that we will be regional champs, which is another big milestone for the football being that it has never been done before. When I talk with my friends on the football team they are so excited. They themselves are surprised to have made it this far. At the same time, they are not willing to give up on any game. They say that losing is no longer an option and they will continue to give it their all on the field. I have attended both playoff games so far and I must say I am astonished by the crowds the football team has pulled in. When we played our first game at home, the stadium was filled. I did not see an open spot in the stands or along the fence. Just seeing all the supporters for the football team is something I have never seen before. Going into the game against CHCA I was thinking a lot of hype would have died down and the stands would not be nearly as packed as they were the first game. On top of that, the temperature was not suppose to be very warm, so I assumed the supporters would not show up. Lokota’s stands were full. It seemed like the entire community had traveled Lakota to watch the football team. The weather did not seem to bother anyone. They were all cheering on the team just like it was  the first playoff game. I think it is rare to come across places like Madison, with such a supportive community. This experience is something not a lot of people get. I am very proud to call myself a Mohawk. I wish the football team luck as they take on West Jefferson at Beavercreek High School. GO MOHAWKS!!!

Club Soccer

Sunday, October 29th, started my first day of club soccer. Club soccer is very different from Madison High School soccer. About every high school in our area from D1 to D3 only have a few players who understand the technical side of soccer. Once you get to club soccer everyone on each team understands the technical side of soccer. The transition from high school soccer to club is a major one. Everyone on your club team suffers from this lazy play of high school soccer, but everyone has to quickly transition to club soccer. In two weeks I will be traveling south to Raleigh, North Carolina with my new club team to play in a tournament. We do not get much time of break being that my high school season just ended about three weeks ago.  But, I am very excited to get my club season rolling and see how my final year of club play will turn out!

I have been playing competitive soccer for as long as I can remember. The competition only gets better, and through each day of practice, so do I. I have been on 7 different clubs, from Dayton to Cincinnati. And I truly have enjoyed each team I’ve been on, and see lots of these players on other clubs. Starting over with a new club is tough, you must leave your old team where all of your friends are, and move to a team where you know no one. Starting over on a new club team means you must start over for an opportunity to be apart of the starting 11. I did like constantly having new people to compete with, I think this was a big factor in what has me the player I am. Nobody in my family has ever played soccer, so at a young age I had to rely on myself and my coaches to get me better. My father told me a few years ago that when I was little and started playing SAY soccer for Madison that he thought it would just be a “phase” and soon I would be playing Baseball just like him. He said he couldn’t watch a single match of soccer without getting bored. But now he trying his best to coach me and give me pointers from what he sees. He can watch professional soccer on TV and not get bored, while also knowing what is going on. I think it is kind of funny how his view of the game of soccer has completely changed.  But lastly, if I could give any advice to parents new to the soccer scene who want their kid to be the best player they can be, I would tell you, find a big a big soccer club, one that is well known by lots of people and one that plays at very high soccer tiers. If you do not it will next to impossible to get the A team at a club. Which is very unfortunate for good players whose teams fall apart in their later years. The may not be as close to home as you would like but it is just a sacrifice you must make for your kid.

On Friday, November 3, the football team hosted their very first playoff games home. I’m sure you all know that we won and will advance on in the tournament. I am very proud of the team for what they have accomplished. The game was very close and kept you on your toes for the entire night. There were so many people at the game supporting the Mohawks. The atmosphere was crazy and I think that really helped drive the team. I am very proud to be a Mohawk and hope the best for team as they advance on in the tournament. Go Mohawks!!

Clayton Asher's truck with all trash collected
This week I got volunteer for two different events. On Thursday October, 26th I volunteered for the annual elementary monster mash. At the monster mash I got to scary kids as they walked through the haunted trail. I volunteered for the monster mash last year and enjoyed myself so much that I came back this year. I volunteer with my soccer friends and we always have the best time. On Saturday October, 28th I volunteered for the annual Great Miami River Clean Up with my friends Clayton Asher, and Kevin Duritsch. We all woke up early Saturday morning and went the 122 bridge, that was our designated spot to clean. We really wanted to focus on getting lots of tires, because on the river clean up’s website they number how many tires were picked up throughout the entire river. We ended up finding 10 tires including a bike tire, as well as lots of garbage. We picked up so much trash that it was best to load it onto my friends truck and take it to the event dumpster. The others who were picking up the trash bags along the bike path seemed very impressed with what collected. I, myself, was impressed with how many tires we found. I only expected to find one and I wasn’t even sure if we find one at all. I know we were all excited about finding that amount. I hope to participate in the River Clean Up in years to come and help clean up the river on Earth Day. I am all for making Middletown a cleaner place. Plus this volunteer work was fun!
As I'm sure you all know the football team has officially clinched a spot in the state playoffs, and will be hosting the football game at Madison! This is very exciting news because the football team has never made to the playoffs in Madison history. I will definitely be attending the game. I am very excited to see how far we will go. Regardless, I am very proud of the football team. Seeing my friends be this successful after all of the hard work they put in the last four years is nice to see. GO MOHAWKS!!