BRATTLEBORO — A man that was arguably the best teammate this area has ever seen, is now trying something that has all eyes on him.
"A passion I've been pursuing the last year and a half is stand-up comedy. It's the only thing off the playing field where I've been able to experience a similar type of adrenaline rush," said Devin Rhodes, who is a 2010 Brattleboro Union High School graduate. "There's nothing like making a group of strangers laugh from your original ideas. It forces me to find the humor in everyday situations, which is a neat perspective to view life."
Rhodes has been telling jokes at open mic sessions in both Brattleboro and Northampton, Mass. During a recent performance at the Bishop's Lounge, he shocked the audience early with a comedy act about Massachusetts drivers.
"Dirt" played football, ice hockey and baseball for the Colonels and was also a member of the Vermont football team in the 2010 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. He was Brattleboro's ace pitcher as a senior and was known for encouraging BUHS hitters with constant chatter from the dugout.
"I would say a game in particular that stands out was our quarterfinal victory in baseball over Mount Mansfield. The sheet that they hung up over the visiting bullpen backstop had our school abbreviation misspelled, which just added fuel to our fire," stated the ultimate leader, who remembers seeing BHS instead of BUHS on the sign. "Once I saw that, I had a feeling that no matter how well they played that day they weren't leaving with a victory. The game itself was incredibly exciting, and with them knocking us out the year before it made our win against them that much sweeter."
As tough as they come, the former center was known to clear 300-pound nose tackles out of the way to give running back Davin Freeman a lane. He was also the type of pitcher that coaches had to drag off the field if they wanted to bring in a reliever.
"Rhodes was outstanding. He kept the Raiders off the board until the sixth. He just battles and wills his way to winning," said skipper Chris Groeger following Brattleboro's 2-1 decision over Rutland six years ago.
The other seniors on that talented team were Will Inman, Rob Meyer, Ryan Smith, Kyle Whitworth, Mark LaValley and Matt Hudon.
Rhodes went on to play baseball at both Southern Vermont College and Lyndon State College. He went 4-2 and fanned 41 batters as a freshman at SVC, and he struck out 26 batters in 43 innings of work in his first season with LSC.
These days, the diehard Notre Dame football fan has been bouncing around between jobs and also pitching for Manny's out of Greenfield, Mass. during the summers. And while he ices his shoulder between starts, he has time to write out his comedy routines.