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Relentless Ram: Flat Rock’s Mayberry shined as a 5-sport athlete PHOTOS

  • In May, Flat Rock’s Michael Mayberry earned his way to the golf state finals, won a league title on the track team and nearly qualified for the track state meet. Overall, he played five sports in each of the last two years. Photo courtesy of Michael Mayberry
  • During his junior and senior seasons at Flat Rock, Michael Mayberry was a member of the school’s track and field, golf, basketball, cross country and soccer teams. News-Herald File Photo
  • At the 2014 golf regionals, Flat Rock’s Michael Mayberry shot a 77, which tied him for the second-best score of any golfer that day and qualified him for the state finals. Photo courtesy of Flat Rock Athletic Department
  • Michael Mayberry had little time to rest while at Flat Rock. He played five sports as both a junior and senior and also graduated with a 3.4 grade point average. Photo courtesy of Flat Rock Athletic Department

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At the high school level, there are several talented athletes who stand out during any given sports season.

When those seasons end, some move on and continue to shine in one or even two more prep sports. Of those, a few even maintain strong academic standards along the way.

Then there’s Flat Rock’s Michael Mayberry.

This spring, the senior qualified for the golf state finals, won a league title in track, narrowly missed a trip the track state meet and graduated with a 3.4 grade point average.

Just a few months earlier, he was the basketball team’s leading scorer; as he averaged nearly 10 points per night and went on to earn all-league honors.

In the fall, Mayberry helped the cross country squad make its first state meet appearance in more than 20 years-while also serving as a member of the Rams’ soccer team.

With that said, the 2013-14 school year wasn’t even the first time he donned five different Flat Rock uniforms, as he accomplished the same feat as a junior.

He actually eased up his load a bit this year, as he only focused on the high jump and long jump events in track. A season ago he also took part in sprinting events, hurdles and relays.

Either way, doubling up on athletics in the fall and spring for the last two years was obviously a challenge for Mayberry and brought with it some tough choices at times.

“It was very difficult to focus on two sports at the same time,” he said. “Having two practices a day was never easy, but I got used to it by my senior year. The most difficult part was deciding which competition to go to and which team I was going to let down.”

In May he was forced to pick between Division 2 track regionals and the 2014 News-Herald golf tournament.

With a trip to the state meet on the line in track, he opted to head south to Monroe Jefferson and battle it out in the high jump and long jump events.

Before the day was over, he tied for second in the long jump with a distance of 19 feet, 11.25 inches and tied for third in the high jump (5-10.02). The runner-up finish in the long jump would have sent him to the state finals, but he fell just short in a tie breaker.

Four days later, however, he was the undisputed long jump (19-7.50) champ at the Huron League Meet and took third in the high jump (5-11.00).

As for a shot to compete on state’s biggest stage, that opportunity still awaited him in golf, the sport which he says is his favorite.

First up, Mayberry qualified as an individual for Division 3 golf regionals with a team-best score of 85 at districts. The following week he traveled to Saline for regionals and shot a 77, which tied him for the second-best score of any golfer that day and launched him into the state finals at Grand Valley State University, where he later shot a combined 178.

After the impressive day at regionals this year, Mayberry had to quickly hustle back from Saline, as that night was Flat Rock’s graduation ceremony.

With the memory still fresh of his big day on the golf course, he officially left high school that evening with academic success also under his belt.

While maintaining good grades was a battle of its own for Mayberry, he said there was support along the way.

“It was very tough. I had very little time to do anything besides practice and study in the fall and spring,” he said. “I missed a lot of school in the spring for golf matches and track meets, but my teachers were very helpful, so I was able to maintain a decent GPA.”

Those who guided Mayberry in sports also managed to play a big role in his overall success as a student athlete.

“As his coach I had always known Michael was a special kid,” said Flat Rock Track Coach Joel Stapleton.

“Initially he only did track as a freshman but approached me his junior year about doing both. I knew then that he was a kid who could handle both and maintain high standards in the classroom. He told me he loved track, but golf was first in his heart. I told him that was up to him and I would love to have him on my team.”

Mayberry said a handful of his peers questioned his lofty aspirations, but most people were behind him.

“I had a few teammates that discouraged me from dual sporting, but mostly everyone was very supportive, especially my coaches,” he said. “I wouldn't have been able to do it without such understanding and supportive coaches.”

With high school now over for Mayberry, this fall he’s headed to Monroe Community College. After two years at MCC, his plan is to attend Michigan State University and major in construction management. He said he will not pursue collegiate athletics, however.

For Stapleton, Mayberry’s same-season success in both track and golf this spring was unmatched by anything he’s seen during his coaching career.

“Competing in two sports is possible. Excelling in two sports the way Michael did this season is very rare,” he said.

“I have never had anyone else who did dual sports achieve what Michael did. What he accomplished this year was something special.”

Last Updated: 7/31/2014 7:54:14 PM EST