July 26, 2023

Bryson the Brave Bison

When an Army ROTC student and an aspiring college basketball player met on Cedarville’s baseball team, they would have never guessed they would one day co-author a children’s book.

But that’s exactly what Luke Freshwater and Nate Davenport have done, and the book is generating favorable reviews across the country. Nate, a 2013 alum, came to Cedarville with a hope of securing a roster spot on the Yellow Jacket men’s basketball team. During tryouts, however, Nate knew that he underperformed and missed any chance he had to play basketball at Cedarville.

This disappointment was short-lived. Moments after leaving the basketball tryout, baseball coach Mike Manes put Nate through a baseball workout, and he hit it out of the park — literally. Then, as a member of Cedarville’s baseball team, he became one of the most prolific power hitters in university history, a fact that continues today as he still holds numerous offensive statistics, including most home runs and runs batted in.

With a stellar college baseball career in the books, Nate pursued professional baseball. He enjoyed great workouts with several teams, including the Atlanta Braves, but in the end, he was never drafted and ultimately turned down a semi-professional baseball contract to pursue God’s calling for his life.

His teammate, Luke, also had an unlikely start to Cedarville. A transfer ROTC student, he was part of the baseball team’s two greatest years. The two graduated and parted ways, Luke going overseas to serve his country in Afghanistan. It wasn’t until he returned to the U.S. that the two reconnected.

After reconnecting, Nate had this idea for a children’s book about a bison who learned about bravery by running into a storm. But Nathan knew this idea came from Luke, who often talked about the analogy of braving the storm — just like bison do — instead of running away from it.

So the two joined forces, and before they knew it. they were published with the leading children’s Christian publisher, Zonderkidz.

Listen to Nathan and Luke share their story on the Cedarville Stories Podcast.

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