A Most Uncommon Denominator OAERourke a Key to RamsAE Football, Basketball and Baseball Teams

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

A Most Uncommon Denominator OAERourke a Key to RamsAE Football, Basketball and Baseball Teams


Byline: Patricia Babcock McGraw pbabcock@dailyherald.com

Most teenagers are sprinting for the doors after four years of high school.

Kevin OAERourke dreams of a fifth year of eligibility.

Even after four years of playing football, four years of playing basketball and four years of playing baseball, the Grayslake Central senior still hasnAEt had enough of high school sports.

"I want one more year. I want one more year so bad," OAERourke said Saturday after he pitched Grayslake Central to a 9-1 victory in the Class 3A third-place game at the state baseball tournament in Joliet. "Even though my legs are killing me and my back is starting to hurt, thereAEs nothing better.

"I wish coach could have red-shirted me."

If it were possible, all three of OAERourkeAEs coaches this year would have sent in the paperwork long ago.

OAERourke is one of those special athletes that doesnAEt come along very often. Not only does he play three sports u a rarity in itself these days u but he also excels at all three.

This year, he was a difference-maker in almost every game he played u at quarterback for the football team, as a gritty, hard-nosed starting forward for a basketball team that advanced to a sectional championship game and as a starting pitcher for a baseball team that made its first trip downstate in school history.

For his standout, round-the-clock efforts, OAERourke has been named the Daily HeraldAEs Lake County male athlete of the year.

"HeAEs been front and center in all three sports. HeAEs very deserving of the athlete of the year award," Grayslake Central baseball coach Troy Whalen said of OAERourke. "HeAEs a gifted athlete, he keeps himself in good shape. And what I like (about three-sport athletes) is that the pilot light is always turned on. TheyAEre always focused because theyAEre always competing."

Three-sport athletes are also always on the go.

From football to basketball to baseball they go, with hardly a day in between. Summers are even crazier, with camps and workouts for all three sports sometimes occurring on the same day.

"He must manage his time great to be the starting quarterback, a starting pitcher and a key player with the basketball team. ThatAEs tough to do," said Grayslake Central shortstop Kurt Schmidt, who has been playing team sports with OAERourke since fifth grade. "I have a hard enough time with just baseball. I canAEt even imagine what he goes through. …

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