If Webster defined “multi-sport athlete,” Scott Litchy’s picture would be right there on the page.
Litchy, a senior at Albany, is competitive on the golf course, slamball trampoline and the backyard Wiffle Ball diamond.
Of course, Litchy’s one of the best in high school league-sanctioned sports, too.
“Being on the center stage, there’s pressure,” said Litchy, Albany’s go-to guy in football, basketball and baseball. “Guys look for you to be the leader and step up in important situations.”
Like most multi-sport stars, Litchy’s favorite sport is the one that’s in season. Right now that’s football, and Litchy leads the Huskies’ power-running attack from the quarterback position.
He rushed for a season-low 52 yards on 18 carries but passed for a career-high 98 yards in Albany’s 28-22 loss to No. 5 Becker last Friday.
The Huskies (3-2 overall) look to get back on track 7 p.m. Friday at Princeton in Granite Ridge Conference action.
Lots of talent
Litchy is Albany’s leading rusher with 633 yards in five games, 357 yards more than any other player. His season-high rushing performance was against St. Cloud Cathedral when he ran for 234 yards.
He’s scored 10 touchdowns.
His rushing abilities would put him at running back on most rosters, but Litchy is too talented for that position.
“He’s been gravitating to the quarterback position because he’s an athlete that makes things happen,” Huskies coach Mike Kleinschmidt said. “He diversified our offense this year.
“We run power football, but he has the ability to play-action off that, and he can throw a pretty good ball.”
Kleinshmidt said Litchy has “shades of (former Albany QBs) Cory Schiffler and Will Seiler” because they did things with their arms and legs.
Where to play?
Yes, Litchy can do it all on the football field. He has thrown and caught passes and carried the ball. He’s kicked off, punted, place kicked, and returned kicks and punts.
“He’s one of those guys that barely leaves the field,” Kleinschmidt said.
The challenge this season was to figure out how exactly to use Litchy.
“We had some trouble placing Scott,” Kleinschmidt said. “That’s just because you want to put every athlete in a spot where they can reach their optimal performance.”
On defense, Litchy first cracked the varsity lineup at free safety as a sophomore and he’s anchored the position since. He leads the Huskies in tackles with 55 this season.
Offense is kind of new for Litchy, who started the 2011 season opener at quarterback but suffered a broken thumb in the second half. That limited him to defense for most of the season.
On his first game back from injury, Litchy intercepted two passes — one for a touchdown — in a win against Minnewaska.
Basketball will be Litchy’s favorite sport come winter when runs the point for the Huskies, who finished 12-13 in 2011-12.
Litchy’s cousin is former Rocori star Justin Stommes who went on to play at Division I Eastern Kentucky and plays professionally for Eisbaren Bremerhaven, a team in northern Germany.
“(Stommes) is a really good friend,” said Litchy, whose dad (Rob) and older brother (Kyle) played football at Albany.
“He’d call me up to go work out all the time. We worked out a lot at St. John’s.
“His experience playing overseas really helped helped me. He talked about the importance of mental toughness. Just everything with the game, he helped me.”
Litchy said his small size might keep him from reaching the same level as his cousin in basketball and that baseball might be his best option post-high school.
Right now, Litchy’s enjoying football season and will look into post-graduation options later. Litchy’s coaches could probably see him doing well in college athletics, whatever the sport.
A key player
He’s the key player on every team; the quarterback and top rusher in football, the point guard in basketball and the shortstop and pitcher in baseball.
His hitting and pitching led the Albany baseball team to within a strike of the state tournament this spring.
“Some athletes don’t want to be thrust into the key positions,” Kleinschmidt said. “Scott likes to be in that position.
“If it’s 4th and 1, Scott wants the ball. If it’s tied 70-70 in basketball, he wants to take that shot. If it’s the section championship in baseball, Scott wants the coach to put the ball in his hands and go to the mound.”
Litchy’s competitive style carries into recreational sports like golf and he has a lot of intrest in rugby, which his brother, Kyle, plays on a club team at North Dakota State.
“He’s a great athlete, obviously,” said teammate/best friend Michael Schlangen. “It’s not just football, but anything we do, even games we make up.”
Schlangen and Litchy play backyard Wiffle Ball and there’s another game that combines a trampoline and a basketball hoop. They call it slamball.
“You get to run people over and dunk on each other,” Litchy said. “We’ve had a lot of fun playing football at midnight.
“When you’re young, you have all the energy in the world.”