Wayne High School sophomore Craig Young is a lot of things when he steps onto an athletic field.
He is a blur on the track, as he showed last week at the SAC Track and Field Championships at North Side.
Young is power personified on a basketball court, as he exhibited in being the best player on the Generals' squad this past season.
And the 6-foot-5, 200-plus pound man-child is a terror (to the opposition) on the football field. On both sides of the ball.
But at his core, it all comes down to this: the kid simply loves to compete no matter which arena he is immersed.
“He is a gamer,” veteran General track coach Tom Hogan said. “He doesn't like to lose. He is just a competitor.”
Young has an unusual blend of strength, size, speed, agility, mobility, and yes, nobility, as he is the most well-rounded prep athlete in this city.
“He is such a great athlete,” Hogan said.
Most people would love to have the dilemma that Young is staring down as he reaches the halfway mark of his high school career. He is so good at everything that he tries; he is perplexed as to what he should do in the future.
“I love all three sports,” Young told The News-Sentinel. “I wish I could do all three in college.”
If anyone could accomplish that feat, it would be Young, but much like his track season this spring, that isn't going to do the guy justice athletically, though you couldn't tell that by his exploits this weekend.
At Saturday's SAC track finals, Young ran through a less than desired training schedule AND a toe injury, but dominated the sprint events anyway.
He won the 100 meters (10.89), 200 meters (22.06), and anchored the Generals' winning 400-meter relay (42.85), while finishing second in the high jump (six feet). In all, he contributed to 37 of Wayne's 95 team points, which placed third behind Northrop (140) and Snider (108).
“What I love about track is just running and competing,” Young said.
The Generals' track squad trains just four days each week due to a conflicting Fort Wayne Community Schools transportation schedule, so Hogan said his athletes do the best they can when they have the opportunity to work. With Young, however, he also has to focus on off-season training for his other two sports.
“We haven't been able to do any real training with him,” Hogan said of Young's injury this spring, “and Craig still goes back and forth with his other sports. So we don't always have him at full strength like we would like to have him.”
Every coach – at just about every level - would want to have a piece of Young, even at less than “full strength,” as Hogan has to accept.
He not only is one of the IHSAA's best on the track (he was the only freshman runner to qualify for the IHSAA State Finals last year as a freshman), he also excels at basketball and football, as well.
This past winter, he averaged nearly 19 points and 10 rebounds per game, and hit 59 percent of his shots.
“I'm lower on the (recruiting) radar around the country,” Young said of the sport in which he is thought the least of by scouts. “So I love going out there and competing and dunking on people.”
Young had the strength and athleticism to dominate inside on Wayne's opposition. However, he also shot 45 percent from 3-point range last season.
But as much as he enjoys tearing past people on the track and rising up over everyone in the lane on a basketball court, he admits that his “first love' is football, a sport he has played since he was seven years old.
“I really love football,” Young said.
Young played both wide receiver and safety for the Generals last fall and he also returned kickoffs.
He caught 30 passes in eight games for a team-leading 418 yards, and he also scored five touchdowns.
“I like catching over people,” Young laughed. “I like outrunning people and putting somebody in the ground if I have to.”
A decision on which sport – and which college – is still a ways away for Young. His focus today is getting healthy and having a strong showing at the state track finals next month. However, he knows the day will come when he has to make a “tough decision” on his future.
“I love all three sports,” Young said. “I don't want to give up track. I love basketball and football, so it is going to be a tough decision, but I'm going to have to make one.”
For more on the world of sports, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010 and on Facebook at Thomas Davis.