Baldwin — As the old saying goes, it's not where you're from, but where you're going.
That's exactly the case for Brandon Childress.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound quarterback for Baldwin High has had a hand in more than 2,100 yards — 1,325 passing — and 37 touchdowns — 24 passing, 12 rushing and one receiving.
And despite the obstacles he's faced growing up in a poverty-stricken area, Childress is about to make a name for himself on a national level.
Coaches from Indiana are expected to watch him play in next week's Division 8 pre-district playoff game, while some from Missouri and Northwestern have called coach Doug Boules about him.
And there's more. He's had offers from Boston College and Penn State — to play basketball.
"It just shows if you're good enough, they'll find you wherever you're from," Boules said. "He's just a coach's dream and he's a better kid than an athlete, and that just says a lot about his character. Everything he touches is golden. It's really surreal.
"He wants to play college football. Central Michigan offered him a scholarship for football this past February and Indiana's hot on him for football."
And to think Childress was planning on passing on his senior year of football to concentrate on basketball.
"I had a long talk with my dad, then Coach (Boules), and I went to eat and took a trip to Reed City's field, sat down and talked and I realized, 'Man, I can't give up football,' " Childress said. "I wasn't ready to close that door, and I'm glad I didn't."
As a bonus for sticking with football, Childress has the opportunity to play with both his younger brothers — Brenton, a junior, and Braeden, a 6-3 freshman receiver who will take over at quarterback next year.
"I knew he'd come back and play because he's a football player and he's good at it," said Brenton Childress, a physical safety/linebacker who also plays offense (receiver/running back). "He's taught me how to be a man and just learning how to go through life and everything, you know how to mature. He's taught me how to do the right thing and has led me down the right path."
Said Braeden Childress: "I'm excited I was able to play with him a year before he goes off to college. ... I've learned a lot from him, especially how he scrambles and keeps a play alive."
Still, despite his success on the football field, college basketball coaches are trying to convince Brandon Childress to switch allegiances.
DePaul coaches have made the trip to Baldwin multiple times, and Childress plans to take an official visit to the campus next month. Playing both sports at Central Michigan is a possibility for Childress, who averaged 23 points, 10.9 rebounds and four assists last season as a shooting guard.
But Childress, who owns a 3.89 grade-poin -average and plans to major in pre-med, is most proud he's making his dreams come true with the odds against him.
"My family's not the richest family and I come from Baldwin, where we're not the biggest community but a small community and most of us here — well, our parents — don't make a lot of money," Childress said. (The poverty level in Baldwin has been listed at 32.8 percent and the median household income is 63 percent less than the Michigan average.) "We have our struggles and that's what pushes a lot of us and motivates a lot of us.
"The struggles we've been through off the field and this (football field) is one place that none of that means anything."