Micah Coffey doesn’t just play three sports.
During a remarkable junior year at Batavia, Coffey quarterbacked a state-ranked football team, was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs’ basketball team and batted third and played first base for a Batavia baseball team that, like the football team, nabbed an Upstate Eight Conference River championship.
Coffey’s year-round investment paid off handsomely in each season, earning him Kane County Chronicle-St. Charles Bank & Trust Male Athlete of the Year honors for 2012-13.
Coffey’s sports calendar is booked to an extreme but, like older brothers Jordan and Jesse and younger brother Canaan, he’s not complaining.
“It’s one of those things, my parents have always emphasized if you still love a certain sport, you should still go ahead and play it because this is the only time in your life you can play all three,” Coffey said.
In Coffey’s case, each can be played with plenty of flair.
As football and basketball teammate Zach Strittmatter noted, Coffey has the knack for looking calm and inspiring confidence in teammates even under duress. During baseball season, he sported long, flowing hair that gave him a West Coast-look, and his leadership style matches.
“I’ve had a number of college coaches who have witnessed him play who have kind of described he has that ‘It factor,’ ” Batavia football coach Dennis Piron said. “That whole package, that leadership, that ability to thrive in pressure situations. He has a high level of comfort. When he plays games, they look easier for him than anybody else out there.”
Coffey won the starting quarterback job for a Batavia football program with sky-high expectations, and he had to replace one of the school’s all-time greats, Noel Gaspari.
No sweat for Coffey – at least, by the looks of it. A Kane County Chronicle First Team All-Area quarterback, Coffey passed for 1,732 yards and 18 touchdowns while guiding the Bulldogs to their second straight undefeated regular season.
If there’s a time of year that tests Coffey’s resolve to stick with three sports, it’s November, as basketball season bears down with his body still hurting from football.
“Transitioning straight from football into basketball, there were a couple weeks where every day I’d wake up, my legs were so tired and sore, and I’d have to go to practice later,” Coffey said. “So there was a little bit of [questioning], but I’ve been blessed with so many great coaches and teammates who make it fun.”
The sight of a 22-foot jumper rippling the net also is known to have a restorative effect. Coffey, a shooting guard, led the Bulldogs’ basketball team in scoring (11.6 points a game) while sinking 38 percent of his 3-point attempts and shooting 85 percent from the free-throw line.
His basketball game is heavily reliant on shooting touch, which he somehow maintains despite his divided offseason responsibilities.
“It’s kind of weird – it almost seems like he’s the one kid that his shot doesn’t leave him, ever,” Strittmatter said. “In the summer he comes back and it looks just as it did when we finished in the winter with basketball season. He puts in a lot of time, I know he shoots a lot in the gym with his dad and his other brothers, too, but it’s almost like his shot never leaves him.”
Coffey’s banner year spilled into the spring. Coffey batted .386 while slugging 17 extra base hits, including a team-leading 11 doubles, and drove in 25 runs for the baseball Bulldogs, who tied eventual Class 4A third-place finisher St. Charles East for the conference championship.
It’s mid-June, so that means Coffey is already knee-deep in preparations for next school year in each of his three sports. His senior year is a source of massive enthusiasm on multiple fronts, including the possibility to team up with Canaan, who will be a sophomore, in basketball and potentially football.
From a team standpoint, a pair of crushing postseason upsets this school year – to Downers Grove North in the first round of the 7A football playoffs and to Hoffman Estates in a baseball regional semifinal – provide obvious motivation for the 2013-14 school year.
“You can’t take anything for granted,” said Coffey, who likely will play football or baseball in college. “Records mean nothing when you get to the playoffs, so really making sure every game has that same kind of focus and same kind of intensity going into it. I don’t think we lacked intensity, but that’s a major emphasis this year is don’t take anything for granted. As I learned twice this year, you never know how suddenly it can end.”
The good news for Coffey: When something ends, a promising, new beginning is never far away.