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April 22, 2002

Growing up in a small town in Indiana a person cannot avoid the Midwestern way of life, football, family barbecues and outdoor sports. Sophomore shortstop Brett Garrard, who grew up about 25 minutes west of Indianapolis, fell in love with outdoor sports like hunting and fishing at a young age.

Garrard returns home every November to go on the annual deer-hunting trip with his father, brother and his high school football coach. Garrard said the quartet goes on the trip the opening weekend of shotgun season each year when the group travels further west to some land that is owned by Garrard’s family.

“My family owns about 120 acres an hour west of Indianapolis, so we always go out there the first or second weekend in November,” Garrard said.

The Brownsburg native recalled the first deer he ever hit with a shotgun was when he was eleven years old, but he wasn’t the only one to hit the deer that day.

“I was eleven and my brother was about thirteen,” Garrard said, “I was standing about 150 yards from my brother when he shot the deer then ran about a 100 yards towards me then stopped, and that is when I shot him.”

Garrard didn’t beg his first deer until he was fifteen, but it was not with a gun rather the Buckeye shortstop decided to use more primitive tools.

“The first deer I ever killed was with a bow and arrow when I was fifteen,” Garrard said.

When fishing at home in Brownsburg, Garrard doesn’t have to travel far to enjoy his other outdoor love, rather he only has to walk out the back of his house. His family has a small lake behind their rural Indiana home, which they try to keep stocked.

“At one time, we stocked the lake behind our house, but now we drive to some other places and re-release the fish into our lake,” Garrard said.

During the baseball season, Garrard doesn’t have much time to get home to enjoy the outdoors so he is forced to do more city-oriented activities. “During the season there is not a lot of time between baseball and school, so I usually spend time with my friends,” Garrard said, “We usually go see a movie or just relax at home and play video games and watch television.”

Garrard is doing well on the field this season as he has started all but one of the 28 games he has played while batting .267 with seven extra base hits, including two home runs, and ten runs batted in.