By Hector Longo
---- — DANVERS — There are bigger, stronger athletes than St. John’s Prep senior Mike Geaslen of Andover.
You won’t find one hungrier.
Just a day before heading to preseason football camp as the No. 1 QB in camp for the top-rated Eagles, Geaslen got his life ducks in a row, committing to play baseball and study at Northeastern University. At NU, he follows in the footsteps of his dad, Dave, and older sister, Tameka — a junior goalie on the Huskies’ field hockey team.
The decision frees Geaslen to fight, in both football and baseball, to make his mark on each program.
A year ago, he backed up QB Jack Sharrio on the state title football team. Last spring, he was a key reserve behind the plate on a loaded Prep baseball team that spent every week in the season rated atop the polls until getting upset by Billerica in the North title game.
“We head for camp (in Wayne, Maine last night),” said Geaslen, who spent his summer honing both sports with his teammates at the Prep and in the Legends AAU program for baseball out of Middleton. “I have to replace a big spot, big shoes to fill. Hopefully I can do that. As we stand right now, the job is mine. I like that pressure, the attention.”
Experiencing the ebb and flow of two championship athletic seasons took its toll on Geaslen. But like any champion, he garnered lesson after lesson along the way.
“Watching guys like Jack handle it last year, I learned and I want to show I can do that too,” said Geaslen. “Being able to handle the pressure isn’t just about one guy though. There are people around me to help. The spotlight is on me, yes, but it’s not just one player carrying 11. They’ll be looking to me in the down moments, that’s where Jack was so good, and I want to be there for them.”
Next year at Northeastern, Geaslen will again be surrounded by friendly faces.
Ex-Prep pitchers Dustin Hunt — a lifelong friend from Andover — and Mike Driscoll of North Reading joined the Huskies this fall.
“For every high school athlete, being recruited is a stressful time,” said Geaslen. “Coming out of there today, I feel great. You could feel it all summer, the pressure to play better, and this whole process off the field is something all high school kids go through.”
“I’m just very excited about it.”