Athlete of the Week: Mark Gorogianis

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If college football recruiters are looking for a player who can do a little of everything on offense, Montini’s Mark Gorogianis is their man.

Last year as a junior, Gorogianis got the call when starting quarterback John Rhode went down with an broken thumb in the Broncos’ intrasquad scrimmage. Gorogianis kept Montini on track for what turned out to be a third consecutive Class 5A title run, passing for 913 yards and nine touchdowns.

When Rhode returned, Gorogianis slid over to a starting wide receiver spot. That’s where he was when the Broncos again found themselves needing a new quarterback after Alex Wills suffered a slight concussion against Marian Central in Week 7 of this year.

As before, Gorogianis embraced change. “I just went with it,” he said. “I do whatever the team asks of me. What I went through last year helped me with this.”

Now, though, Gorogianis is as much of a running quarterback as a passing one. And with Wills back in action and receiver Joe Borsellino also taking snaps in a Wildcat formation, he’s part of what coach Chris Andriano calls “a three-headed monster.”

No doubt, defending the Broncos’ quarterbacks are a scary proposition for opponents – especially after the day Gorogianis had on Saturday. The 6-foot, 185-pounder ran eight times for 240 yards and five touchdowns as Montini avenged an earlier loss to Marian Central with a 42-27 win in a Class 5A quarterfinal. For his effort, Gorogianis is the Sun-Times Athlete of the Week.

That big day also enhanced Gorogianis’ already solid stat line. He has rushed 44 times for 486 yards and nine touchdowns, caught 42 passes for 507 yards and four scores, and is 30-of-62 passing for 321 yards and four touchdowns.

Combine that with his classroom numbers – a 3.8 grade-point average and a 28 ACT score – and it’s easy to see why Gorogianis is getting interest from Georgetown and some Ivy League schools. He has scholarship offers from St. Xavier and Valparaiso and could be fielding more as video of his versatility gets a wider audience. Gorogianis and the No. 15 Broncos (10-2) get a chance to add to their resume on Saturday when they play at No. 19 Joliet Catholic (8-4) in a 5A semifinal.

Rotating three quarterbacks is uncharted territory for Andriano, in his 34th season as Montini’s coach. “It’s an adjustment,” he said. “It’s not an easy thing to do. Your kids have to really understand what’s going on.”

Gorogianis does. “We all have a team-first attitude,” he said. “If a kid is asked to play a different position, he’d do it in a heartbeat.”

The reason opponents didn’t see the running side of Gorogianis last year was simple: “We didn’t want to take a chance on getting him hurt,” Andriano said. “We knew he was the go-between till we got John Rhode back.”

It’s all in a day’s work for Montini’s Renaissance man.

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