HERMON, Maine — Garrett Trask started on Hermon High School’s state championship basketball team last winter and has played center field for the Hawks’ consistently contending baseball program.
But it’s on the gridiron where he finds his greatest enjoyment in team sports.
“Football’s definitely my favorite; there’s nothing comparable to it,” said Trask, who will quarterback the second-ranked Hawks (8-1) in Friday night’s Class C North semifinal against No. 3 Winslow (6-3) at Husson University in Bangor. “It’s just a lot more aggressive, a tougher sport.”
But while Trask has played football since the third grade, it took a flirtation with another sport to show him how much he truly loved it.
After suffering a broken leg bone as a freshman football player, he joined the soccer team for his sophomore year.
“Some of my buddies were playing soccer and I just got talked into it, but I missed football bad,” said Trask, who was the Hawks’ starting soccer goalie. “After the second game I didn’t really want to play any more.”
Trask rejoined the football team the following summer and, after being a running back since moving from Corinth to Hermon as a seventh-grader, was greeted by a new varsity coach who needed a starting quarterback.
“When I took over we had what I thought were two real good runners in Jordan Bishop and Garrett Trask,” said second-year Hermon head coach Kyle Gallant, the town’s middle-school coach for two years before ascending to the varsity post in 2017.
“To me the quarterback really needs to be the field general, so from watching Garrett in other sports, and seeing him as a field general in basketball and baseball, he was the perfect fit to play quarterback in my eyes.”
With Bishop a prominent runner as a senior last year, Trask quarterbacked Hermon to its best season since the Hawks achieved varsity status in 2011 with a 6-3 record and a Class C North playoff berth.
Trask earned All-Big 11 first-team recognition at both quarterback and safety last fall, and this year he is on a similar path. He led the league in passing (68 of 103 for 1,095 yards with 14 touchdowns and one interception during the regular season), and rushed for 698 yards and 12 touchdowns on 80 carries.
The rushing part came most naturally to Trask, who had been a running quarterback in the Old Town youth football program. His combination of speed and patience set up a ground attack for the Hawks that also features junior halfback River Mullen and sophomore fullback Zach Tubbs.
“He’s a great setup runner,” Gallant said, “which makes him even that much more deceiving when he’s running the football because he might be at 65 or 70 percent speed behind his blockers as he’s waiting for things to develop, and the minute it develops he’s got that extra gear he can go to, and the next thing you know he’s running by you.”
Trask’s arm has become a much more utilized weapon this fall, in part because of wide receivers Keith Pomeroy and Wyatt Gogan, who combined during the regular season for 43 receptions for 883 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“We did it a little backwards this year: Garrett threw way more than he ran, but he worked so hard over the summer in our camps or 7-on-7 passing leagues to develop his passing game, and it’s really showed,” Gallant said. “Everyone knows his ability to run the football, but now when he rolls out there’s that chance he’s going to tuck it and run, so as a defender you have to decide whether to play his run or do you wait back with the receiver and let him go.
“It leaves a lot of guys in limbo.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Trask also has played safety for a defense that has yielded only 14.6 points per game this fall and last week keyed the program’s first postseason victory, a 41-0 quarterfinal shutout of Oceanside of Rockland.
“To me, he’s even better as a defensive player than he is at quarterback,” Gallant said. “You might be able to break through our line, you might be able to break through our linebackers here and there, but it’s gotten to be almost impossible to break the big play when he’s back there.”
As much as Trask enjoys football, he also savors his time in the woods and on the water, and hopes one day to become a wildlife biologist.
He and his dad, Trevor, often have competed to see who can harvest the biggest deer during hunting season, and Trask also is one to share that experience with others.
During the recent Youth Hunting Day on Oct. 20, Trevor and Garrett Trask took 10-year-old Mackenzie Gallant — the coach’s daughter — out for her first deer hunting experience, and she came home smiling after landing a 136-pound doe.
“Garrett’s definitely a good kid,” Kyle Gallant said, “the biggest-hearted kid in the world.”