WEST ROXBURY, Mass. – At some point this season, hopefully later rather than sooner, John Gorman will have played the last football game of his career. Next fall, he will be at Boston College and, next spring, he’ll slip on the Eagles uniform as a part of the baseball team at Chestnut Hill
But, before any of that happens, the Catholic Memorial senior has business to complete with the No. 9-ranked Knights this fall.
“People tried to say to me, ‘What are you doing playing football? You’re risking a lot.’” Gorman said.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder is an inside linebacker and running back for Catholic Memorial. He captained the Knights last year as a junior carries another heavy responsibility as the defensive play-caller in the huddle.
Gorman has played football since he was 8 years old and, while his future may lie on the diamond, there was no doubt in his mind that he would give it one last go-around this fall.
“It’s something I do during the fall, that’s always football season,” the Norwood resident said. “This is what I want to do. I’ll get ready for baseball later on. I feel almost like this helps me on the baseball field.”
During football season, Gorman will hit and throw once a week before take around a month off from throwing. In the winter months, he’ll start throwing bullpen sessions four or five times per week to get ready for the season.
The reigning Catholic Conference MVP will hope to lead the Knights to a repeat performance as league champions. While pitching, Gorman was the staff ace with an 8-0 record and 1.18 ERA. At the plate, the corner infielder put up a .395 average with three home runs and 25 RBI.
He’d always dreamed of playing at BC. Gorman has attended games at The Heights with his family for years — doesn’t matter whether the sport is baseball, football, hockey, basketball, whatever. For a time, when he was younger, he was a batboy for the Eagles during Pete Hughes’ tenure.
“It’s always been a place that I’ve wanted to go,” Gorman said. “I have a few friends that have gone there and they love it there, so there wasn’t any doubt.”
The only question that could have crossed his mind was whether he wanted to fore-go his final gridiron season to play it safe and not jeopardize his future at BC with a potential injury.
But there’s a major motivation behind his decision.
“The goal has got to be the Catholic Conference,” Gorman said. “If you’re not shooting for that, there’s no reason to be playing unless you want to do that.
CATHOLIC MEMORIAL AT A GLANCE
2009: 5-5 (0-4 Catholic Conference)
Coach: Alex Campea (seventh year, 74-56)
Players to watch: Armani Reeves, Jr., WR/DB, 5-11, 170 lbs.; Camren Williams, Jr., RB/S, 6-2, 185 lbs.; A.J. Doyle, Jr., QB/LB, 6-3, 210 lbs.; Donovan Henry, Jr., KR/RB/S, 5-10, 175 lbs.; Brendan Keohan, Sr., OL/DL, 6-5, 280 lbs.
Strengths: Team speed, athleticism.
Weaknesses: Offensive line depth, defensive line experience.
Outlook: The Knights can ride their young horses to do many good things on offense, but it will take renewed focus on defense for CM to move to the top of the Catholic Conference. “All the teams in the conference, and I think all of the coaches of the other teams, feel the same way and that’s that everyone one of our games is a Super Bowl," head coach Alex Campea said. "We play so few games in the conference that each game is vitally important.” CM has more young, quality offensive players than just about any team in the state with juniors Armani Reeves, Camren Williams and Donovan Henry returning. Junior quarterback A.J. Doyle enters his second full season as starter. Things have shuffled a bit on the offensive line with returning starter Sean Lampron moving from guard to center. Still, it will come down to how well the Knights defense will hold, particularly up front against the running game, that will dictate how their season goes.