TYNGSBORO -- When it comes to sports lingo there is a tone that consists predominantly of numbers.
As is the case with most athletes, Greater Lowell Tech senior three-sport standout Bobby Paquette is measured by the statistics he has produced. His accolades speak volumes about his ability when compared with his peers. Paquette is a Commonwealth Athletic Conference all-star in football, wrestling and baseball.
Paquette led Greater Lowell's football team in tackles last fall from his middle linebacker post and intercepted four passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown. During the winter, he wrestled at 170 pounds and recorded a 32-10 record. The No. 4 hitter in Greater Lowell's order, Paquette batted .375 with 16 RBI while helping the Gryphons earn a share of the CAC Large baseball title.
When it comes to the numbers generated by Paquette, however, the most impressive arithmetic occurs in the classroom where he is a straight A student, who sports a 3.9 grade-point average. He also works a co-op job in his concentration of plumbing every other week during the school year.
For all his accomplishments in athletics and academics, Paquette received Greater Lowell's prestigious Golden Gryphon Award, presented annually to the top student-athlete, and the President's Award for academic achievement.
"He's a little bit of a throw-back kid," said long-time Greater Lowell baseball coach, Dave MacLaughlan, who has been in charge of the Gryphons' program for 31 years. "He plays three sports and is a league all-star in all of them. He's great academically. But the best thing about him is he's constantly smiling. He's a credit to our school and his family. We loved having him the four years he's been part of the baseball program.
"Over the years, I've been fortunate to coach some kids like him, but they don't come around all the time. He's a true student-athlete who excels in all that he does. The Golden Gryphon Award is something special. That's quite an honor for him."
Hard work paid off
Paquette worked his way to the top as an athlete, maximizing every ounce of ability and skill produced by his 5-foot-5, 170-pound frame. He is just as tenacious when it comes to his school work and co-op job.
Paquette spent the second half of this school year working for Emond Plumbing and Heating at job sites in Melrose and Cambridge. During his work weeks, Paquette routinely left his Dracut home at 5 a.m. to make sure he was on time for a shift that began at 6:30 a.m. He got off work at 1:15 p.m. and always made it back to Greater Lowell in time for the start of practice.
The weeks Paquette was in school, he still got up early. He would go to the gym and work out before heading to Greater Lowell.
"I never felt like my schedule was too much for me," said Paquette, a baseball co-captain and outfielder. "It really wasn't hard. You get used to it. I always strive for A's in class and I want to be the best possible player I can be in sports. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. That's why I try and stay positive all the time. I never get down on myself. If something bad happens, I pick myself up and keep going after it."
Beginning this fall, Paquette will be "going after it" in defense of our country. He is joining the Air Force where he hopes to get involved in the military police with the long range plan of possibly working in law enforcement.
"I'm looking forward to serving my country," said Paquette. "Everyone asks me why I choose this path? It's something different for me to try. It's something I believe will benefit me down the road. I feel I'm ready for the challenge."
The work ethic and drive that helped Paquette succeed at Greater Lowell will serve him well in the Air Force.
"He's not a rah-rah guy," said MacLaughlan. "He leads by example. He just goes out and plays the game the right way. He plays hard. He loves to compete, whether it's football, wrestling or baseball.
"His attitude is what sets him apart. He's not the most naturally gifted athlete, but he works hard at maximizing the talent and ability he does have. He will succeed in whatever he decides to do. He's that type of kid."
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