De La Salle’s "Builders of Boys. Makers of Men." motto couldn't be any truer than with senior Brett Stanley, a 3.35 GPA student and three-sport athlete.
Stanley will continue his football and baseball playing career at Northwood University in Midland, MI.
"I decided to sign with Northwood because I felt that I would fit their program and school really well," Stanley said. "My father (Mark) also went to Northwood. So, I can keep that tradition going."
Stanley, a captain in each of his three sports (he also wrestled), suited up at a myriad of positions on the football field over the last few years, including running back, slot receiver, cornerback, kick returner, and punt returner.
During the 2020 season, he played an integral role in helping DLS return to the state finals at Ford Field.
In 12 games, he rushed for 822 yards and 11 touchdowns, and also amassed 1,918 all-purpose yards, including a team-high 198 all-purpose yards in the Pilots' loss to Muskegon Mona Shores in the Div. 2 state title game.
Additionally, on defense, he totaled 42 combined tackles, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, and a sack.
Throughout his three-year varsity football career, he garnered numerous accolades, including first-team All-Catholic League honors in 2019 and 2020 and first-team All-Macomb County running back honors in 2020.
He was also named to State Champs' 2020 Mr. Football Watch List, as well as the Detroit Free Press' 2020 Division 2 All-State team at defensive back.
"Brett Stanley has left his mark on DLS athletics," Pilots’ football coach Dan Rohn said. "As great of a football player as he is, he is an even better person. Always working to make himself, the team, and his teammates better."
He's also had a successful career on the baseball diamond during his time at the Collegiate.
He was a member of back-to-back district championship teams in 2018 and 2019, and received All-Catholic League honors in 2019, as well as honorable mention All-Macomb County honors in 2019.
"Brett is a leader on and off the field who any coach can trust to do the right thing," DLS baseball coach Steve Schypinski, '06, said. "And, the fact that he's committed to Northwood University to play two sports is an accomplishment in itself. We look forward to a big spring from Brett."
As for Stanley's wrestling career, in his first three years of participating in the sport at DLS (freshman-junior year), he made it to the state tournament -- the only three-time state wrestling qualifier in DLS history -- while competing in bigger weight classes and against older athletes.
And despite that, he managed to attain all-state honors as both a sophomore and a junior.
In doing so, he became the first-ever two-time all-state wrestler in DLS school history. And, while participating in the 2020 MHSAA state tournament, he finished fifth in the 160-pound division -- the best finish ever for a DLS wrestler.
In 2021, he finished with a 24-2 record, leaving him with 155 victories in his DLS career.
Throughout the entirety of Stanley's time as a Pilots wrestler, his high degree of leadership stood out to DLS athletic director Dennis Parks, who served as Stanley's wrestling coach for Stanley's first three years at DLS.
"He's a quiet leader. He's one of those guys that isn't going to say anything. He's just going to do it and lead by example," Parks said.
All the while, he's been a model student, as an Honor Roll recipient (3.3 GPA minimum) each year since his freshman year.
On top of that, he's provided exemplary service to the community in numerous capacities.
As a sophomore, he received an award in theology for his service and dedication to the community, and in 2020, he took part in a "drive-by" to thank hospital workers for their tireless work during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His time as a Pilot has left him with a myriad of valuable life lessons that he will carry with himself to Northwood, including the importance of brotherhood.
"Something that I will take with me is knowing how to create a bond with your brothers. Here at DLS, I have created many bonds, and have met new people that have turned into lifelong friends," Stanley commented. "On the field, DLS has a winning culture, and I believe I am a winner. I know what it takes to play at the next level, and can’t wait."
For his multitude of achievements both on and off the field the last four years, Stanley has made DLS proud to call him one of its own.
And, Stanley has been equally proud to don the Purple and Gold.
"My time at DLS has meant so much to me," Stanley said. "I can’t thank my parents enough for sending me to this great school. I have had so much fun here at DLS. I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else."