Stuart Streit, Crystal Lake Central High School

Baseball is not the sport for an athlete who can’t cope with failure. Defensive errors are inevitable, pitchers frequently watch home run balls sail overhead and reliable hitters reach base less than half of the time. The sport has been instructive for Stuart Streit, 17, a senior at Crystal Lake Central High School. Unacquainted with academic miscues — he’s valedictorian, and his college entrance exam scores approached perfection — Streit has learned from baseball to accept mistakes and move on, he said. “Failing once isn’t going to make you a failure,” said Streit, a pitcher and utility fielder for the Crystal Lake Central Tigers. “You just go back at ’em.” Soon, Streit will carry that lesson to the University of Notre Dame, where he intends to follow an unconventional academic path uniting chemical engineering and English. He also might try out for the baseball team, though he isn’t optimistic about his chances. Along with baseball and scholastics, Streit has busied himself by volunteering with church groups, singing in choirs and joining the school math team, which does not embody the nerdy stereotype that might spring to mind, he said. Streit met people on the math team he might never have known otherwise, he said. Streit is the son of two high school valedictorians, parents John and Jennifer, he said, and he followed two brothers, Michael and Will, to Crystal Lake Central. The Streit brothers are similar in their conviction and drive, but unique in personality, said high school English teacher Angela Welder. Stuart Streit is a gifted writer, Welder said. She hopes writing finds a place in his future. “I love grading his essays,” she said. “It’s a great feeling when you come to the end of a student essay and you have nothing to say but, ‘Wow.’” — Dan Hinkel
Tribune photo by Stacey Wescott
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