ROCKTON—Gabe Roessler should be lacing up his sneakers right about now, ready to take the practice floor for his final season as a basketball player.
Instead he, along with his brethren at Hononegah, sit and wait while the IHSA decides their collective fate.
Roessler hasn’t been totally idle when it comes to his athletic future. The senior recently announced his intention to continue his baseball career with Madison College, an NJCAA Division II program.
A starter in his first two years at shortstop with the Indians, Roessler’s junior season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of action on the diamond also threw a wrench into his recruiting platform.
“It was tough for sure,” Roessler said. “I think without COVID, I probably wouldn’t be taking the junior college route. It just would’ve been a lot smoother of a process overall.”
With that being said, Roessler is still more than content with his choice.
“I think it’s going to work out great,” Roessler said. “When I sat down with my travel ball coaches and we talked about my options, he said what a great coach Mike Davenport was with Madison College. I went on a visit there, talked with some players and just had a gut feeling that this was the right move.”
Roessler played a key role on two terrific Indians teams, and hopes to have one last good run as the squad transitions to the IHSA-mandated early summer schedule.
“I’m most definitely still going to play this year,” Roessler said. “I definitely think we are going to have a season, especially with it being outside and low contact. I think we have the chance to put together a good little season. Our offense and our defense should be really strong. We’ve just got to find enough arms and we’ll have a good year.”
Roessler said he will take many positive memories from his time as an Indian. Playing varsity as a freshman, particularly in a premium defensive position like shortstop can be an intimidating experience, but Roessler said the veterans led the way.
“The upperclassmen just being there to show us around and being leaders, that was great,” Roessler said. “As freshmen, that was huge that we could all come together as a team and that was a big part of us being successful.”
Roessler’s summer was a busy one. He plays travel ball for GRB, a well-known program in the area.
“We really had a full summer,” Roessler said. “We went down to Indianapolis three times, and went down to Georgia. We did everything we were supposed to. And I also used the time to get a lot bigger and a lot stronger, and just to develop overall as a player.”
He’s also still holding out hope he’ll get one last chance to don a hoops uniform as well.
“I’m pretty bummed we aren’t playing right now,” Roessler said. “I was really looking forward to playing my final year, because we were going to be a really good team. It’s disheartening, but I’m still holding out hope that we’ll get to play at some point.”