Luck of the Irish

Gray chooses baseball over football

Langston McHenry, Sports Writer

As a kid, Bryce Gray and his brother were taught to have self confidence.This confidence landed an instant impression on head varsity coach Craig Buzea when Gray introduced himself to Buzea as his future starting quarterback, when he was only 11. This small moment set the foundation for their strong relationship.

“Bryce knows how I feel about him,” said Buzea. “His career will rank among the best that’s ever wore the red and white. He is the B.E.S.T.”

To an outsider, Gray would seem to be just an ordinary kid. Once he steps on the turf, however, people quickly become familiar to the senior wearing six on his back.

“He’s a perfectionist,” senior teammate Sam Cutrara said. “He’s always trying to do better, or be more precise with his passing.”

Posting over 2,350 yards in the air, 25 touchdowns and only one interception of the season, Gray was the maestro for the Vikings offense.

“I never really saw Bryce throw a touchdown because I was running a route or blocking, but the outcome of where the ball landed was on the money most of the time,” Cutrara said. “When he threw a touchdown, I always gave him the compliment and high-five he deserved.”

By just looking at Gray’s stat sheet, you can immediately see how good he is at football. But what Buzea will miss the most is his “fantastic leadership.”

“Besides his physical abilities, Bryce was the calming influence on our team,” Buzea said. “He never got too high, never got too low.”

In addition to being a leader on the football team, Gray helped lead the Vikings baseball team to a 10-3 record last season.

“Bryce is as coachable of a player I’ve ever had,” head baseball coach Tom Sippel said. “He trusts in his coaches, and truly is another coach on the field.”

After long thought, Gray made the tough decision to hang up his pads and continue his baseball career at the University of Notre Dame.

“The tradition is felt immediately once you step on the campus,” Gray said. “The networks are huge. I also get an education from one of the best schools in the world.”

But before he can focus on his future, Gray wants to reflect on the great memories him and his teammates had in their thrilling but disappointing season.

“This season was amazing even though it didn’t finish how we wanted,” Gray said. “Losing was one of the worst feelings ever. However, I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished throughout our high school careers. I have memories and brothers that will last a lifetime and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

On and off the field, Gray is taking care of his business to put himself in a great position after college.

Posting a 28 on the ACT and holding a 3.48 GPA in honors/AP classes, Gray values his education.

“It just came down to the best opportunity for my education and life after college,” Gray said.

Gray is every teacher’s dream in the classroom. Spanish teacher Jonathan Miller remembers Gray as a “natural leader.”

“Bryce was a very good student in class, both academically and socially,” Miller said. “He asked good questions when we were doing interactive activities in class, and always tried to include his peers. He was responsible with his homework and preparation for quizzes and projects.”

All throughout high school, Gray has had a constant support system. According to Buzea, this will not change when Gray leaves for college.

“I’m anxious to watch him as he moves on and makes a name for himself in college and beyond,” Buzea said.