A New World for Claremont Football Standout Gosselin
C.J. Gosselin, a Stevens High senior, practices with his teammates yesterday in Claremont. Gosselin is playing in his first season of basketball since the eighth grade, having already been named a first team all-state linebacker and a statewide top-10 discus thrower while at Stevens. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan) Purchase photo reprints »
Stevens’ C.J. Gosselin looks to his teammates during a layup drill yesterday. (Valley News - Ryan Dorgan) Purchase photo reprints »
Claremont — C.J. Gosselin is a an all-state linebacker with so much football ability, that Holy Cross has been knocking on his door.
“Football is certainly my passion,” said the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, who also throws the shot and discus in the spring. “To play at such a school as Holy Cross would be great.”
So what the heck is the Stevens High School senior doing playing basketball, a sport he has not played competitively since middle school?
“I just kind of regretted not doing it before,” he said.
Added his coach, Scott MacNamee: “He showed up at a couple of summer games and I’ve talked to him about coming out and he’s going to end up playing a lot of minutes for us every night.”
C.J., which stands for Cyclan James, is not going to be banging in 3-pointers, dribbling much and taking sky hooks.
“I’m going to be a rebounder, play defense and get some put-back shots,” he said.
“He’ll never probably score on anything but a lay-up, but he puts the ball back up pretty good,” Cardinals assistant coach Tim Nichols said. “Making lay-ups is not as easy as some people think.”
Gosselin, the sometimes ferocious football player, is far different that Gosselin the citizen.
“I heard he would have a great locker-room presence for us and he has,” said MacNamee. “He’s a good guy.”
One of the toughest adjustments for Gosellin has been the conditioning. “In football, there is a lot short sprint running, but in basketball, there is a lot of endurance,” Gosselin said.
McNamee said that there are more aerobics involved in basketball conditioning, and explained the importance of stretching certain arm and leg muscles.
Gosselin was at first reluctant about basketball, as he was afraid that it might affect how he would prepare for an upcoming football combine where he has received an invitation.
“I told him basketball would only help him,” said MacNamee.
The combine that Gosselin has been invited to is an elite one, in that only the top 200 football players from New England and New York earn invitations. It will be held next month in Mansfield, Mass. Gosselin’s teammates, Logan Batchelder and Donald Pellerin, have also been invited.
“I’m just going to go down there and give it my best shot,” Gosselin said. “I understand there’s going to around 200 college coaches on hand.”
Stevens doesn’t open the basketball season until Dec. 11 against Kearsarge so MacNamee’s not sure just how the pieces are going to fit with this team and just how much Gosselin will play. MacNamee said in the first two years as coach, he had a pretty good idea at this point who was going to play where.
“I have no idea right now,” he said.
What he does know is that Gosselin will get a lot of playing time. “Defensively, C.J. is one of our better players and he will really help this team.”
“You know I’m OK with not being a starter.” said Gosselin. “I know what my role is.”
In addition to Holy Cross, a Division I Football Championship Subdivision school, Gosselin has heard from several Division III schools, but he would really like to go to Holy Cross.
“And it’s not very far from home,” he said of the Worcester, Mass., school.
His marks will certainly not get in the way. He carries a 3.5 GPA.
But first there is the upcoming basketball season. The coaching staff will perhaps be able to map a better plans for Gosselin after this weekend when the Cardinals have a three-team scrimmage at Hanover, with Berlin coming to town, too.