Busiest of the bunch
To say David Flattery comes from an athletic family would be putting it mildly.
Flattery, the recent winner of St. Edmond’s Terry Griffey award for the school’s top male senior athlete, watched from the sidelines as brothers and cousins competed before him wearing the green and white.
Never wanting to be away from the action, Flattery found one Gael “record” that would mean the most to him.
“My cousin, Tim, finished with the most varsity letters in his career and I always thought of him as a role model,” David said. “So to have more (varsity) letters than him was really humbling.”
Flattery earned 17 letters over his four-plus year career thanks to being on St. Edmond’s 2009 state baseball title team as an eighth-grader. Along with his time on the diamond, Flattery also played football, basketball, track and golf, helping the Gaels reach state in all five sports.
“My most memorable season would have to be junior year basketball (when SEHS placed second),” said Flattery, who will play baseball at Iowa Central this fall. “But, the most fun I had – which might surprise people – was golf these past two seasons.
“The guys were really fun, I had a blast and it was just a great atmosphere. Golf is probably my worst sport (performance-wise), but I had the most fun.”
St. Edmond finished sixth in Class 2A this past fall on the links, while Flattery also ran at the state track meet. In football, the Gaels reached the second round of playoff action, while they were also state qualifiers in baseball in 2010-11 and baseball in ’10.
Staying active helped Flattery become the athlete and person he is today, and started at a young age.
“Growing up, I couldn’t find one sport that I liked the most,” he said. “Even at St. Edmond, I played stuff like tennis in my free time. I just couldn’t get enough of them.
“I know a lot of kids these days have gone down the path of playing just one sport, and that is great if you have the passion for that one sport and want to get really good at it, but (specializing) wasn’t for me.”
Another cousin, currently University of Iowa runner and fellow Griffey winner Neil Flattery, made sure to keep his younger relatives going strong.
“Neil, being that we were just a year apart, was always somebody I hung out with growing up,” Flattery reflected. “We would always be playing 1-on-1 basketball – even 1-on-1 snowball fights. Those were just as intense as the basketball games.
“Neil never liked to lose in anything. We have had some pretty unbelievable tennis matches this summer, and neither of us every played tennis (in high school). There has been thrown rackets, screaming on the court – it’s been intense, but a good kind of intense.”
While hardly ever missing a game, meet, dual or contest, Flattery wasn’t really ever 100 percent healthy for the final three years of high school.
During a fall baseball game after his ninth-grade season on the diamond, Flattery experienced elbow trouble. In a few weeks, he will undergo Tommy John surgery to have his ligament repaired.
“Ever since that time, I haven’t really been fully healthy,” he admitted. “The doctors I saw told me to stop using a curveball, which can make it very difficult – no matter how hard you throw – when you can’t throw one of your pitches.
“I tried throwing a slow curve my junior year, but I must have injured it again and had to stop (pitching) completely.”
Flattery said baseball was the only sport that the injury really bothered him in, outside of “when I would have to throw a lot of passes in practice before football games.”
Outside of all the team accomplishments, Flattery’s high school resume reads of several individual feats.
In football, he finished on the school’s career charts in touchdown passes (third with 19), yards (seventh with 1,407) and completions (tied for ninth with 80).
On the basketball court, his 1,181 points place him third all-time. Flattery also grabbed 457 rebounds and dished out 272 assists.
Along with his one hit as an eighth-grader in baseball, he batted .403 for his career with 111 RBI and 18 steals.
“I am going to miss all of these sports and the guys I have been playing with since second grade,” Flattery said. “I still have pictures from little kid basketball tournaments we went to growing up, and we continued playing together for the next 10 years.
“It’s pretty special for guys to stick it out and do something for that long.”