Jason Gregoire has had a pretty nice first semester of his sophomore year at Cary-Grove.
Gregoire was leading the Trojans’ sophomore football team to an undefeated season when varsity starter Quinn Baker suffered a broken left ring finger in Week 7.
Gregoire was called up to varsity, started three games (including the playoff opener), all of which were Trojans’ victories.
In basketball, the 6-foot-2 guard has been C-G’s most consistent scorer, despite a late start after the football team played for the Class 6A state championship. Gregoire is averaging about 15 points a game for an 8-6 team.
“It’s been awesome. I never would have expected anything like this,” Gregoire said. “I knew I was going to be on the varsity basketball team [last summer], but I did not think I’d have this big of an impact right away. I’m feeling more comfortable and getting used to the speed of the game faster than I thought I would.”
Gregoire certainly did not expect to be starting for the varsity’s unbeaten football team in Weeks 8 through 10. Baker was not quite ready for the playoff opener against Rockford Auburn, but Gregoire, who had played against Dundee-Crown and Prairie Ridge in the two previous games, led the offense to a 41-7 win.
“He has that football mentality,” Trojans boys basketball coach Ralph Schuetzle said. “That strap-it-up and let’s go. He can play. He can shoot, handle the ball well and he can rebound. He’s a special skilled player.”
Gregoire also showed some toughness in his second game with the team against Carmel. Gregoire, a right-handed shooter, jammed the index finger on that hand so badly it was swollen during the game, yet he still canned a pair of free throws in the final seconds to force overtime.
The Trojans won that game, 43-42.
“It’s muscle memory, but he’s tough,” Schuetzle said. “That was pressure. I don’t know how many kids could do that.”
Gregoire, who likely will be C-G’s option quarterback on varsity next season, considers basketball his first sport. He played with Full Package’s travel program last year and might return to it again this spring. He is less awestruck by everything as he grows accustomed to it.
“I credit my teammates for always being behind me and cheering me on,” Gregoire said. “It was like that in football, too. My first practice [after Baker was hurt] was awful, but the seniors were encouraging me and backing me up.”
MCC-bound: McHenry County College baseball coach Jared Wacker announced the commitments of three area players for the 2013-14 school year.
Prairie Ridge’s Mike Hallstrom, McHenry’s Devon Gehrke and Huntley’s Tyler Mindak have committed to the Scots.
Hallstrom is a first baseman and designated hitter and was a Northwest Herald All-Area honorable-mention selection for the Wolves’ Class 3A regional champion team.
Gehrke will be a third-year varsity starter this spring for the Warriors and will be an outfielder and left-handed pitcher.
Mindak, a catcher, also will play on the varsity team for his third season this spring.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.