This isn’t the way that Trey Fitzgerald always pictured it would go.
Fitzgerald loves playing football and baseball. But when the time drew near to decide which career he wanted to continue in college, he figured he’d have to give one up.
But then his senior year came, and he wasn’t ready to pick one sport over the other.
So he decided to play both.
Last month, the Mosinee High School senior announced his commitment to play both football and baseball at UW-Eau Claire. It’s quite the challenge, but one that Fitzgerald said he’s up for.
“When the recruiting process started, I wasn’t really ready to give up a sport,” he said. “I didn’t want to regret not doing one in college, and having to look back on it and think maybe if I did the other sport I would have been more successful or something. So just going through the process, I knew I wanted to try both.”
Fitzgerald is a standout quarterback on the football field and a solid-hitting infielder on the diamond. He’s had plenty of success in both sports throughout his high school career.
Last fall, Fitzgerald was the Great Northern Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year after passing for 2,764 yards and 19 touchdowns. His total passing yards were tops in the conference by over 1,300 yards, and he completed 63% of his attempts.
The dual-threat QB also rushed for 551 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“He has the ability to just drop back and deliver a good ball, and he has the ability to extend plays,” Mosinee football coach Craig Martens said. “If the pocket is collapsing, he has the ability to scramble. And when it’s 4th and 1, he can fight for those yards too. He’s pretty versatile in what he can do.”
Fitzgerald led Mosinee to the playoffs in each of his two seasons as a starter.
As a baseball player, Fitzgerald has been to two state tournaments with the Indians. He first went as a freshman reserve in 2017, and then posted the best batting average on the team in leading them back as a sophomore in 2018.
“He’s a natural athlete, obviously,” said Mosinee baseball coach Adam Olson, a former ballplayer himself at UW-Stout. “He has great hands at the plate, and that’s how I noticed him early his freshman year. He improved each year, has listened to things he needs to change and has come a long way that way.”
Fitzgerald hit .442 as a sophomore, helping guide Mosinee to the Division 2 state semifinals. He hit .415 last season, earning first team all-conference honors. He is rated No. 175 in Wisconsin’s senior class rankings by Prep Baseball Report.
His resume in each sport speaks for itself. And it led to both Blugolds football coach Wesley Beschorner and baseball coach Charles Bolden taking an interest.
Fitzgerald said both were on board with him playing two sports. In fact, coaches at most of the schools that recruited him were fine with it.
“(The Blugolds coaches) were so personable and cared what you thought, cared what you saw yourself doing there,” Fitzgerald said. “I really took that to heart. They actually cared about me, they didn’t just want me and then never talk to me again.”
As far as what his schedule will look like, it’s not exactly clear right now. Fitzgerald expects his summers and falls will be focused on football, and winter and springs spent with baseball. But he won’t know for sure until he gets closer to coming to Eau Claire.
He’s expected to join the quarterback group for the football team. With the baseball team playing its first season next year, the extent of his role on the diamond is up in the air.
His schedule will be packed, but both of his high school coaches agree it’s nothing he can’t handle. He’s busy as a prep athlete anyways, playing hockey in addition to football and baseball.
“He’s pretty goal-oriented in terms of what he wants,” Martens said. “His desire to play as many sports as possible is definitely right in line with who he is as a person. I think both (UW-Eau Claire) programs will benefit, because he’s the best leader I’ve ever coached, in terms of his natural leadership ability. He’s very in-tune with what he wants to accomplish, and then puts in the work to get it.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, since he couldn’t pick between the two, Fitzgerald doesn’t favor one sport over the other. His answer to the question just depends on if he’s out on the football field or the baseball diamond.
“People have asked me a lot over the years, but it’s really just whatever sport I’m playing, I love that one more,” he said.