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Flattery the best of the best

Senior named Griffey Award winner

August 15, 2012
By JOSH MEYER - Messenger Sports Writer ( , Messenger News

Neil Flattery's competitive drive and will to win have been second to none throughout his decorated St. Edmond athletic career.

As a result of his long list of personal accomplishments, Flattery was recently selected as the Terry Griffey Award winner, presented annually to the school's top senior male student-athlete.

"I guess winning (the award) kind of took me by surprise," Flattery said. "I knew there were a lot of good classmates up for it, and it was kind of up in the air as to who would win.

Article Photos

Messenger photo by Josh Meyer

2012 Terry Griffey Award recipient Neil Flattery with his parents, Debbie and Dave. The honor is handed out annually to the top male senior student-athlete at St. Edmond.

"It's a great honor."

Over the course of his tenure at SEHS, Flattery has been a key component in the successful baseball, basketball, football and track programs, combining to earn 12 letters and 11 all-North Central Conference accolades.

"There were a lot of good moments I was a part of," said Flattery. "Winning the Drake Relays was definitely right up there, along with being a state champion in baseball (Flattery captured the Drake Relays 800 title this past spring and was a member of the 2009 Class 2A state champion baseball squad)."

Flattery, a three-time all-NCC pick in baseball, started all 31 games for the Gaels this summer, notching a .375 batting average. The center fielder/pitcher collected 39 hits and 33 runs, while going 5-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 56 innings on the mound.

For his career in 108 games played, Flattery delivered 120 hits, 80 runs and 74 RBI. He was also a regular on St. Edmond's 2010 state quarterfinalist club.

"I think Neil set the tone of our team and led by example," SEHS head coach Joe Shanks said. "He hustles like no other guy I've ever coached, and was always ready for game action and battle no matter what.

"His character and willingness to compete were outstanding. Every year he got better and better, too."

In basketball, the versatile 6-foot-2 guard was a consistent performer on both ends of the floor. Last winter, the second-team all-NCC and INA all-state nominee, averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists a night in helping SEHS to a 20-7 overall record and 13-5 mark in the league.

The Gaels reached the 2A state tournament for the sixth time since 2004, before being downed in the finals by Mount Vernon. Flattery landed on the 2A all-tournament team as well inside Wells Fargo Arena.

In addition, for his efforts on and off the court, Flattery received the Iowa Bankers Association 2A Student Athlete Achievement Award.

"Neil's work ethic was huge, especially when he got to be a junior and senior," said Gael head coach Adolph Kochendorfer. "Every day in practice, he came ready to go and was constantly on the floor diving for loose balls and taking charges."

Following his final prep campaign on the gridiron, Flattery was tabbed to the all-Class 2A, District 7 top squad as a running back, while also receiving a spot on the INA all-state second team. Flattery had a record-shattering senior season leading the Gael offense, as he set a new program mark for rushing yards (1,615) in a single year.

Flattery ended his St. Edmond career with a school-record 2,524 yards on the ground and finished tied atop the touchdowns scored chart with 23. In 2011, Flattery also accumulated 61 tackles and four interceptions from his cornerback position.

"He was a three-year starter, and we featured him in the I-formation (offense) his senior year," SEHS head coach Dick Tighe said. "He ran both inside and outside and often broke long runs, which would open up the games.

"Neil just played hard all the time, and was an all-around excellent player that was in great shape and seldom left the field."

Aside from securing a Drake Relays crown, Flattery competed on a pair of 2A state championship track teams (2009 and 2011). He brought home five state gold medals (400, 800, distance medley, 4x400, 4x800), three silvers (800, 4x400 and 4x800) and a pair of bronzes (400 and distance medley). As a sophomore, Flattery ran the third leg on the four-time defending state champion 4x400 for St. Edmond, which became only the fourth school in state history to win at least four relays in succession (Hamburg, Albert City and Iowa City West were the others).

Flattery was also on St. Edmond's runner-up 4x400 at the 2010 Drake Relays.

"Neil was a great person to coach, and gave 110 percent in everything he did," said Gael head coach Bill Kibby. "He always had a great attitude, and was a great team member for us. He's been outstanding for four years.

"I was lucky and fortunate to coach him, and hope he does well in the future."

Flattery joined dad Dave (1977) and older brothers Andy (2003) and Tim (2004) as winners of the Terry Griffey Award. Another brother, Joey Flattery, is a senior-to-be on the Kansas State University baseball team.

"I felt maybe a little pressure being the fourth brother in the family and watching all of Tim and Joey's success," said Flattery, who was also a state finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award. "Once they were all gone (from home), I was the one that had to produce and didn't want to be the runt in the pack."

Looking back, Flattery thanked his coaches and parents, Dave and Debbie, for all their support and encouragement along the way.

"For being a small school, St. Edmond is so fortunate to have such great coaches in all sports," Flattery said. "My parents were always there for me growing up."

Outside of athletics, Flattery was involved in Student Council, Chamber Choir, choir, musical and served as Student Body Treasurer.

Flattery has signed to run track at the University of Iowa.

"It's going to be a big change just focusing on one sport," said Flattery. "I just want to come in and work hard and hope to get a lot better."



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