By Hector Longo
---- — DANVERS – Those long summer nights on the Andover Legion baseball bench certainly conjured up the possibility.
“Sure, it came up, and to me, the game is going to be an awful lot of fun,” said St. John’s Prep backup QB and Andover Post 8 starting catcher Mike Geaslen.
The Eagles, champions of the Catholic Conference, face Merrimack Valley Conference champion Andover tomorrow night (7:30 p.m.) at Cawley Stadium in Lowell.
To Geaslen and his Post 8 teammates Cam Farnham and Andrew Deloury – two of the three leading receivers for the Warriors – it’s a reunion game.
“We’ve talked quite a bit about it the last few weeks,” said Geaslen. “I think we all agree that these are two very good, very talented football teams. It’s going to be a great football game.”
For a backup quarterback, Tuesday night’s collision should be laden with emotion for Geaslen, whose older sister Tameka backboned the Andover High field hockey team as a three-year starter in goal.
Mike also started his high school career at Andover, transferring to the Prep after his freshman year.
“Things couldn’t have worked out better for me,” said Geaslen of the move. “Academically and athletically, move avenues have opened up for me here. It’s been a very positive experience.”
Geaslen split time with the JV and varsity baseball teams last spring for the Eagles and looks to be right there in the mix to start behind the plate this year.
On the football field, he’s bided his time behind senior captain Jack Sharrio and figures to be right there when the job opens up.
“He’s a kid who picked up our stuff very quickly. It’s a very different system, and that made the transition a tough one for him,” said Prep coach and Athletic Director Jim O’Leary. “He reads field very well. He’s an excellent athlete, a very hard worker, and a good leader in his own way.
“And in baseball, he’s definitely in the mix at catcher this spring.”
A fine student with a 3.7 gpa and aspirations to head to the Ivy League, Geaslen could be on his way, Post 8 coach Joe Iarrobino said.
“He was only a sophomore last year, and I think he started every game for me behind the plate,” said Iarrobino. “He’s a kid who grew like six inches in a year. He’s solid defensively, does a great job of throwing out runners, and he works hard at the plate.”
But for now, Geaslen and his Prep mates are focused solely on football and the playoffs.
A top five team in Eastern Mass., basically since opening the season with back-to-back wins over MVC competition in Dracut and Central, the Eagles’ only blemish was a 19-7 loss to Everett.
“It’s not like we have no chance of losing, but I like our chances,” said Geaslen. “We’re strong up front and have good skill people, too.
“It’s a good matchup. Andover’s success starts with (QB C.J. Scarpa). He knows the game. He’s so smart and works hard at it.”