Ocean County Duo In High Demand
A subject of considerable discussion among my group of old-timers is the demise of the three-sport athlete who is being killed by over-bearing and selfish coaches and parents whose vision is being clouded by dreams of scholarships and dollars.
One local athlete who dispels the notion you can’t play three sports competitively is Southern Regional junior Mike Gesicki who might graduate next June as one of the greatest athletes in Shore Conference history.
The 6’6, 215 pound Gesicki is among New Jersey’s most sought-after football recruits and he currently has 17 scholarship offers from schools who would like him to catch passes as either a wide receiver or tight end. That list is growing with four additions this week and many more are expected. He told me earlier this week that among the schools who have offered him scholarships Rutgers, Wisconsin and Penn State top the list and Ohio State could join that group when he makes a visit to Columbus in late June.
Gesicki is also a standout basketball player for the Rams and was sixth in the Shore Conference this past season in scoring and rebounding. For that reason both Colgate and Bucknell have offered him scholarships to play basketball and football and Miami might do the same.
Then there is volleyball where his 6’6 frame and jumping ability make him one of the state’s best middle blockers. He could probably land a host of offers for that sport as well but its number three in the pecking order.
In addition to starring in three sports Gesicki holds his own in the classroom as among the school’s recruiting him are Duke, Vanderbilt and Yale. The personable teen-ager said he does not have a timetable for a decision and won’t make one until he is sure.
For Barnegat High School’s Sam Madden time is not a factor because the massive offensive tackle is only just finishing his sophomore year. The 6’7, 328 pounder has garnered a lot of interest despite playing only six games for the Bengals last fall after transferring from Holy Spirit.
Madden has scholarship offers from eight schools already: Wisconsin, Miami, South Carolina, Rutgers, Temple, Tulane, Massachusetts and Old Dominion.
Despite his size the 16-year old moves quite well and it’s possible that a year from now he’ll be among the top lineman recruits in the nation.