Quinn Priester would have a hard time imagining a better senior year.
The Cary-Grove graduate started by helping the Trojans win the Class 6A football state championship. He finished with C-G’s baseball team reaching the Class 4A McHenry Baseball Sectional championship game, then getting taken by Pittsburgh as the 18th selection in the MLB First-Year Player Draft two days later.
Priester was chosen as Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Year by the sports staff. For winning the award, C-G will receive $2,500 from Dr. Steven Rochell, an orthopedic surgeon from Crystal Lake. The Rochell Foundation has given $2,500 to the Male and Female Athlete of the Year winners every year since 1993.
Priester pitched at the highest-level showcases last summer, which allowed MLB scouts to evaulate him. Even with his future in baseball, Priester insisted on playing football with his friends. He was switched from quarterback to receiver and defensive back.
Priester was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection at defensive back and caught a touchdown pass in the Trojans’ 35-13 victory over Crete-Monee for the 6A state title.
In baseball, he was 8-2 with a 1.16 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. He was picked as the Northwest Herald Baseball Player of the Year and now is in Bradenton, Florida, with the Pirates’ rookie team in the Gulf Coast League.
Before he left for Pittsburgh to sign his contract, Priester answered some questions from Northwest Herald sports writer Joe Stevenson.
How many times have you worn your state championship football ring?
Priester: Twice, to prom and graduation.
What’s your favorite wild animal?
Priester: An eagle.
What are three of your favorite sports movies?
Priester: “Happy Gilmore,” “Hoosiers” and “Rocky.”
Which teammate really inspired you?
Priester: Harry Heinisch. Everything he does – and he does a lot from sports to musicals – he does with his whole heart. He always gives his best effort and is a fantastic teammate.
What was your favorite book as a kid?
Priester: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be?
Priester: John F. Kennedy. A lot happened in the country during his time in office that changed the world. Plus, he seemed like a pretty cool guy.
What musical artist is in your playlists that would surprise people?
Priester: Taylor Swift.
If you could hop into the DeLorean with Doc Brown and Marty McFly, which sporting event would you want them to take you to?
Priester: When the Bears win the Super Bowl in 2020.
What sport that you didn’t play would you be good at?
What superhero power would you like to have, and what would be your superhero name?
Priester: Flying. I would be the Flying Q.
What is the last good movie you saw in a theater?
Priester: “Avengers: Endgame.”
What is your favorite food?
What do you like to do when you have some free time?
Priester: Fish, play video games, hang out and play basketball with my friends.
Can you dunk a basketball?
What musical act would you most like to see this summer?
Priester: Zac Brown Band.