A year ago, Andy Shorey was sure that when he decided what he was going to do for his post-secondary education, basketball was going to play a big part in the decision.

Now, after leading Mountain Valley to state championships in football and basketball, he’s decided his athletic future is on the gridiron, and at the University of Maine.

Shorey will walk on this fall to play football. After talking extensively with Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove and visiting the Orono campus, he decided to forgo $15,000 scholarship to attend prep school and play basketball at Lee Academy.

“I took my time because I played both sports varsity for four years, and I like them both a lot,” he said. “I just think I’ll be more prepared for football. I have a football shape. I hope it’s the right choice.”

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound all-state quarterback and 2007 Mr. Basketball finalist will try to make the Black Bears as a tight end this fall.

“I think I have a better tight end body than a quarterback body,” Shorey said. “If I didn’t play quarterback this year, I probably would have been a tight end.”

Shorey would be the first product of Jim Aylward’s storied Mountain Valley football program to put on the helmet and pads for the Black Bears.

“If any kid can walk on and be successful, it’s Andy,” Aylward said.

“I think he’d be an awesome tight end,” he added. “You can’t teach 6-3, 240. The kid has the build. He’s a terrific athlete, and I know as his coach that he has great fundamentals in blocking. He may have been our quarterback, but he did all of our blocking drills. He hit the sled as many times as any other kid in our program.”

Over his career, Shorey had most of his individual success on the hardwood, totaling over 1,000 points, winning two Western B championships, one state title and a Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year award.

But some hard work last summer prepared him for a breakout season in football and opened the door to the possibility of playing beyond high school. He worked out twice a day, every day to get ready for the season, and he saw the results on the field.

Shorey broke numerous passing records at Mountain Valley last year, throwing for more than 1,200 yards and 22 touchdowns, including 167 yards and two scores in the Falcons’ come-from-behind win in the state championship game. He was a force as a defensive end, as well.

“I think football was kind of a refuge for him,” Aylward said. “Everyone knew the expectations for him in basketball. I think he was lucky in the fact that up until his senior year he’d gone under the radar in football. Just watching him at practice this year, it was obvious to me that he loves the game of football.”

“Every time I walked on the field, there was just such a big adrenaline rush,” Shorey said. “Basketball is fun, too. I mean, I’ve played it ever since I could walk, but I had to give up one of them. I just thought as a football player I had a better chance than playing basketball.”

Shorey talked intermittently with Maine football staff over the last year and kept his options open. But Cosgrove had to turn up the pass rush to convince him to put Maine at the top of the list. The coach did not return calls from the Sun Journal seeking comment.

“I think he thought I was going to play basketball, too,” Shorey said. “I talked to some coaches up there and some things happened. Then I kind of lost contact for two weeks or so, and I was pretty sure I was going to go to Lee Academy. He called up personally and he invited me up there. I went up there for a weekend (in early spring), like, two days after he invited me. I liked the campus and went to one of their practices. It looked like they worked hard. It just looked fun.”

Shorey now knows with another summer of hard work, he’ll be joining the fun.

“All I know is this whole summer I’ll be hitting the weights and running and getting ready,” he said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.