Kenowa Hills High School boys' soccer player Peter Brown is this week's Meijer-97.9 WGRD High School Athlete of the Week.

Second-year Knights Coach Frank Andrade almost sounds like he doesn't have enough superlatives to describe Brown.

"He excels," Andrade said of Kenowa Hills' leading scorer. "He's a great player and he's become a great leader."

Kenowa Hills' Peter Brown battles against Hastings in a boys' soccer match as teammate Corey Gilmer (also in black) and another Hastings player look on. (Photo: Jenni Haight)

A four-year varsity player for the Knights, Brown just verbally committed to play men's soccer at the University of Michigan next year.

Of course, as he quickly points out, he still must apply to U-M and get accepted.

However, Andrade and U-M's coaches pretty much have no doubt about that will happen. The reality is Brown is an A-student in the classroom and is a backfield dynamo on the field.

As a center back defender, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder is a defensive stalwart as well as an offensive chief for the 4-4-2 Knights attack.

He has 19 goals and six assists for a 5-9-1 team headed into an Ottawa-Kent Conference Black Division match against Reeths-Puffer today before headed into district play next week.

He scored three goals in a 4-4 tie with Zeeland East on Tuesday; and also had a hat-trick matches last month against Coopersville (a 6-1 win, with teammate Eetu Luhtanen also scoring three goals) and Cedar Springs (all in the first half of a 5-3 win).

"He's an extremely good athlete, with all the attributes and all the abilities to get even better," Andrade said. "He's special."

Brown carries humility about such plaudits, although he is co-captain with Jared Menzel and Para Chhabra for the Knights and has already netted four goals more than last season. Plus, he shares center back duties with Patrick Kozak in an alignment that puts a premium on movement and positioning for its defenders.

"It's quite different," he admits. "It's definitely not easy. For instance, if I'm going from center back and I'm pushing it up from defense I've got to move to center midfielder."

Put in simpler terms: That's a lot of to and fro. However, Brown is used to put in extra effort.

Last fall as a junior, he doubled up and also played for Kenowa Hills's football team with some occasional kicking duties.

This fall, he decided to focus more on his chosen sport, which he claims his parents, Dan and Elizabeth Brown, got him started playing indoor soccer to burn off energy as the youngest of three children in the Browns' home.

That appears to still be the case, at least somewhat.

On days when he's not practicing or playing with Kenowa Hills, he likes to kick it around on occasion with some members of Cornerstone University's men's soccer team. In addition, he plays club soccer with the Grand Rapids Crew.

He has also competed for specially-selected youth squads playing internationally in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Costa Rica through the U.S. Soccer Federation and in Spain through Adidas USA and Real Madrid, Elizabeth Brown said.

Off the pitch, the National Honor Society member carries a 3.8 grade-point average. He also considered the Notre Dame, Michigan State and Western Michigan before deciding on Michigan, where he hopes to study environmental science.

"I love Ann Arbor," he said excitedly of his college choice.

But he doesn't want to look too far ahead, he says. There's that little thing of being admitted by U-M and finishing Kenowa Hills' season strong in addition to his senior year.

"Really, it's just my personal effort," he said. "I always am trying to improve myself -- every game."

Congratulations, Peter, from Meijer and WGRD!

Kenowa Hills High School's Peter Brown, left, poses with student-athletes he hopes to join in playing soccer with at the University of Michigan, including Ryan Kobakof, Johann Bittner, Robbie Mertz and Marcello Borges. (Photo: Andre Morris, courtesy of Peter Brown and Kenowa Hills High School Athletic Boosters)