Johnsburg boys basketball coach Mike Toussaint was constantly amazed at Collin Ridout’s physical exploits.
Toussaint watched Ridout over the past four years, coaching him for three in basketball, and believes Ridout would excel in any sport he tried.
“If he had played soccer, he probably would have been all-conference. If you put him in tennis, he’d be an all-conference tennis player,” Toussaint said. “He’s just one of those gifted athletes who can make a difference in whatever he does. He has a knack for scoring. He had a knack for the ball. He’s always around the ball. He just has a gift.”
Ridout was a standout in three sports for the Skyhawks in his first three years of high school – soccer, basketball and baseball. He was set to play football but suffered an ankle injury that kept him out most of the season. Still, Ridout’s accomplishments in basketball, where he was a Northwest Herald All-Area honorable-mention selection, and in baseball, where he was Northwest Herald Player of the Year, set him apart.
Ridout is the Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Year, voted on by the sports staff as the area’s top high school senior male athlete. He joins 2010 Male Athlete of the Year C.J. Fiedorowicz as the only male winners from Johnsburg. Steven Rochell, a surgeon with Crystal Lake Orthopaedics, will donate $2,500 from his Rochell Foundation to Johnsburg’s athletic department in Ridout’s name. Rochell has been making donations to the winners’ schools since 1993.
“I’ve always been very competitive, a natural competitor,” Ridout said. “I hate losing in anything, if it’s playing basketball in my driveway with my friends or in big organized games. I just hate losing.”
Ridout got four first-place votes from the sports staff and finished with 35 points. Jacobs quarterback Bret Mooney, who also ran track, was second with 28.
Ridout was 10-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 56 innings as a pitcher. He hit .394 with six home runs and 29 RBIs and the Skyhawks finished 18-15, tying for the second-most wins in school history.
In basketball, he averaged 13.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and hit 52 3-pointers, all second on the team. He led the team with 92 assists and 62 steals.
Ridout spent most of spring and summer playing baseball with his high school and travel teams, so there was little time for basketball. Toussaint marveled at how good Ridout still was in basketball, where he ran point guard and had a huge impact.
“He stepped in and didn’t miss a beat,” Toussaint said. “He wasn’t around in the offseason. He’s just able to do that. He’s got that laid-back personality and takes everything in stride. He had a great year.”
Ridout’s year could have been better if not for an ankle injury. He played soccer in the fall the first three years of high school, but with his speed and 6-foot-2 frame, he figured he could help in football. Skyhawks coach Mike Maloney planned to use him at wide receiver and defensive back, but he hardly played while healing.
“At the beginning of the summer, he made some phenomenal catches in practice,” said Johnsburg baseball coach Sam Lesniak, who assists Maloney for football. “Before the injury, we were thrilled he was going to be a part of the team because of his athleticism and the deep threat he could have been with his speed.”
Ridout will play baseball at Heartland Community College in Bloomington, a highly regarded junior college program. The Hawks will take advantage of his versatility and use him as a position player and a pitcher.
Aside from the ankle injury, Ridout felt good about his senior year in athletics.
“It’s supposed to be the most enjoyable season, the one you remember the rest of your life,” Ridout said. “I’m just glad baseball went the way it did. I couldn’t have asked for more for my teammates. Basketball could have been better, but we lacked in size. Our guys gave it their all.”
Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Year voting
Pl. Athlete, School Sports Votes (1st-place votes)
1. Collin Ridout, Johnsburg Football, basketball, baseball 35 (4)
2. Bret Mooney, Jacobs Football, track 27 (2)
3. Kyle Lavand, CL Central Football, baseball 21
4. Justin Nolen, Harvard Football, basketball, baseball 17 (2)
5. Tate Miller, Harvard Football, basketball, baseball 12
Others receiving votes: Austin Rogers, CL South 8 (1); Adam Freimund, Harvard 5; Kyle Buresch, Prairie Ridge 4; Luis Hernandez, McHenry 3; Jeremy Marshall, Dundee-Crown 2.