Cam Shorey spent all winter refining his basketball skills at Phillips Exeter Academy with dreams of pursuring an NCAA Division I future in that sport once he graduates from the New Hampshire prep school in 2012.
But a recent mass mailing of a personal highlight video now has the former Calais High School standout mulling similar aspirations in a second sport — football.
Shorey, a former All-Maine basketball player at Calais who also stood out with the Calais-Woodland cooperative football team until suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament late in his sophomore season, recently compiled a video of some his football highlights with the Silverados as well as some basketball dunks and other highlights and sent it out to numerous college football programs to gauge if there was any interest.
The athleticism displayed on that video, along with Shorey’s 6-foot-5, 230-pound stature, produced almost immediate feedback from several programs, including Boston College.
Shorey was invited to take an unofficial visit to the Chestnut Hill, Mass., campus last weekend where he watched one of the Eagles’ spring scrimmages along with other recruits from Texas, Kentucky, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
He also has been invited back to BC’s annual football camp in June, when he will be exposed to coaches from nearly all of the top college football programs in the East.
“They wanted me to come down,” said Shorey, whose dad, Kevin, played football at Columbia. “They said they view me as a scholarship player, but they want to see more so they invited me to their camp this summer.
“I’ve talked with a lot of people about this, and they said I might have more potential in football, so I might regret it if I don’t at least explore it.”
Shorey, who spent three years at Calais High School, entered Phillips Exeter last fall as a high school junior under a practice commonly used at New England prep schools known as “reclassifying.”
Under that practice, transferring students typically repeat a year of high school to better prepare themselves for college, but in Shorey’s case that move was made just as much to enable him to get back the year of high school athletics he lost when he suffered the torn ACL ligament in his left knee.
Shorey, who began playing football at age 9 in Canada, did not play football as a junior at Calais, nor did he play at Phillips Exeter last fall. But he did play forward for the prep school’s basketball team, which finished with a 9-10 record and qualified for the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A tournament this winter.
“As far as the team went, the season didn’t turn out quite as well as we hoped, we lost in the first round of the playoffs,” said Shorey. “But it was a fun season, and I got everything out of it that I wanted. Getting better, getting more exposure, and the competition that I got made it all worthwhile.”
Shorey said much of his improvement came in the areas of speed and aggression on the court.
“The speed of the game was so much more than what I had been used to,” he said, “so I had to learn to play at a quicker pace.”
Shorey said he also has benefited from working with the school’s strength and conditioning coach, Andrea Sweet. After rarely being involved in such an organized program before he arrived at Phillips Exeter, he’s now on a six-day-a-week training regimen during the offseason.
“Working with coach Sweet was great,” said Shorey. “Here it’s just so much easier to go work out, because everyone else is doing it and it’s just a two-minute walk to get there. It’s harder not to go.”
Shorey plans to train for both football and basketball during the coming months in preparation not only for his second and final year at Phillips Exeter, but for the prospect of a possible Division I future in one of the sports or the chance to play both sports at the Division III level some day.
“I’ll probably know which direction I’m going by the start of next year,” Shorey said. “If football’s not going anywhere by then, I’ll probably focus on basketball.
“But I do plan on playing football here. This year I watched it during the fall and really missed it, and since then a lot of the guys who played football and some of my other peers have really encouraged me to play.”
Ultimately, getting Shorey to reconsider playing football was not a difficult sell.
“I think football was my favorite sport before I got hurt,” he said. “Getting hurt tainted that when it happened, but I think if I get back out there and start playing again it might be my favorite again.”