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First, Emmett Brown tosses the bag of soccer balls over the fence around the Minneapolis Washburn High School stadium field. Then his cleats. And finally, the senior striker climbed up and over the 8-foot chain link fence.

Three or four times per week throughout the past several summers, Brown and some of his teammates would repeat this odd — and discouraged — entry onto the turf field for practice.

"I had to hop the fence to play," Brown said. "Our activities director got mad at me, but I played anyway."

Brown's improvement would not be denied. As a senior, he led Class 3A with 28 goals and added 13 assists, and he is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.

Brown also won Mr. Soccer honors. Millers coach Aaron Percy knew this was coming.

Brown played for the Minneapolis United club team coached by Blake varsity coach Tamba Johnson. He reported glowing reviews back to Percy.

More of an attacking midfielder with the goal of being a creator for teammates, Brown played the No. 10 position for Washburn as a junior and did well. Moving to the No. 9 position, an attacker, in club and then varsity soccer this fall elevated Brown's game.

"That meant I was in the box more and finishing," Brown said. "I was more of the end product than the one trying to get the assists. And my teammates were great. We had a lot of guys with good assists numbers. We really moved the ball well."

Team success followed Brown, starting in the summer. Minneapolis United's 17-Under Boys Academy team won the National Premier Leagues tournament in Denver.

Brown said his team played about six games in seven days at higher elevation.

* Emmett Brown's statistics

"That was the highlight of the summer, and I guess that just kind of carried into high school," Brown said.

Washburn jumped to the top of the coaches polls in the second week of the season. The Millers fell out of the top spot with a 5-1 loss to defending Class 3A champ Wayzata. But Washburn returned to No. 1 in the sixth week and remained there in the final poll — one spot ahead of the Trojans, who ended Washburn's season with a 2-1 victory in the Section 6 final.

Brown scored a goal in all but two regular-season games, rising to Percy's challenge to become a leader and leave no prisoners.

"I really became ruthless, and I was dangerous in the box," Brown said. "Being a forward, it's just about getting the right positions. And I was hungry for goals."

Just as he got his fill of soccer workouts on the Washburn stadium turf by any means necessary.

"Thankfully, I didn't fall off the fence and I wasn't injured," Brown said. "Because then that would have created real problems."

All-Metro teams coming Tuesday

Watch for the All-Metro soccer first and second teams on at 6 a.m. Tuesday.