Diminutive prep athlete pulls quadruple duty on the fields of Columbine

Prep Rally

Keep this in mind: Michael Tait is 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds.

Michael Tait excels at four sports for Colorado's Columbine High -- Karl Gehring/The Denver Post
Michael Tait excels at four sports for Colorado's Columbine High -- Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

Most high school kids his size might be happy just making a varsity roster, but not Tait. The Columbine High (Littleton, Colo.) junior is a four-sport star. Yup. A junior. Playing four varsity sports. His story is chronicled wonderfully in a recent Denver Post feature.

This fall, Tait shares quarterbacking duties with teammate Tyler Goodwin on the football team in addition to performing as the golf squad's No. 1 player. He's also expected to start on the basketball team this winter after serving as a sixth man last season. Oh, and he started in center field on the baseball team this past spring. Not bad for a year's work.

"Most people don't know walking 18 holes and playing in a tournament is just as tiring as going to football practice," Tait told Denver Post prep guru Neil Devlin. "I have long days. And school's getting hard." Not that he's struggling. Tait reportedly owns a 3.96 GPA.

In other words, Tait excels at everything he does. He's quarterbacking a 3-0 football team, fired a 3-under 69 on the golf course earlier this spring, filled up the stat sheet for a hoops squad that made the playoffs last winter and batted .273 as a sophomore. Not bad.

And it's not as if Tait's facing weak competition. He's performing in Colorado's largest classification (5A) and has a good chance to make the state tournament in each sport.

While prep sports are becoming more and more specialized and scholarships become more and more valuable, severely limiting the number of two-sport athletes (as Devlin notes), Tait is standing tall in four. Even if he's 5-foot-nothing, 100-and-nothing.

His story is an inspiring one, especially at Columbine, where two infamous students once tried to destroy the innocence of the high school experience that Tait embodies.

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