McHenry County College star shines on court, diamond, in classroom
Grace Schwegel enters the gym at the center position for the McHenry County College women's basketball team, and she's become quite the asset on the court.
Standing at 5-foot-11, her physical stature isn't the only thing that creates a presence. Grace graduated from Richmond-Burton High School and jumped right into the sports fray at McHenry, but surprisingly not in basketball. It was her ability in softball that attracted coach Karen Wiley's attention.
"Her height caught my eye right away here as I saw her as a softball player," Wiley said. "I saw that she was an athletic, agile and intelligent player. She had also proven to be a great student."
But Schwegel's physical gifts are just one of many sides to the diverse athlete. She became a natural fit for the McHenry women's basketball team after her freshman success in softball, but her mental fortitude and positive attitude are said to be what gets her ahead on the court.
"She has the ability to run the floor well, great hands and learns very quickly," Wiley said. "She is willing to do anything you ask of her. Great work ethic and focus."
She tends to embrace the interior contact on the court, just as she embraces the mental grind of a daunting schedule off of it.
Grace is not only a dual threat as a rare two-sport athlete, but also maintains a 4.0 grade point average as well. While that task might prove Herculean to most people, she does it with pride and a smile.
"She has learned to balance many responsibilities with maturity, class and (no pun intended) grace," Wiley said. "She has an understanding of what needs to be done and just gets it done without complaining or questioning. She is mature beyond her years."
That maturity helped earn her the MCC Student Athlete of the Month honor for November. She excels on the softball diamond too, batting .426 last season and finishing second on the team in runs batted in. She's been lauded for her exemplary work as a well-liked teammate in both sports.
When asked about her future, Wiley said, "Grace would like to play softball in college next year. She has been an amazing dual-sport athlete for us at MCC. You simply do not see many dual-sport athletes in HS anymore, let alone in college. I have no doubt she will be successful academically and athletically wherever she goes."
While softball may be her first love, the sky's the limit for this hard-working sophomore.
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