Kory Tacha has had an outstanding high school athletic career. His junior year alone would make for a notable career for any athlete throughout the state.
He was named the 1A football Player of the Year and made second-team All-State in basketball, making him one of the premiere student-athletes regardless of classification. But there are challenges that come with reaching such heights in multiple sports.
Tacha is more than willing to acknowledge those challenges and tackle them on a daily basis. He spent some time chatting with CHSAANow.com on what it means to him to be a multi-sport athlete and why it will make him successful down the road.
Question: Coming from a smaller school, what's the biggest appeal for you in being a multi-sport athlete?
Tacha: You don't really have that many kids. We have about a hundred kids in our high school, so for all our sports programs to be sports programs they need everyone to go out for every sport. That was the main appeal growing up. As soon as I started playing everything, I fell in love with all the sports and it's just become kind of my lifestyle.
Q: How do you make sure that you're applying enough time and effort to each sport to play at such a high level in each one?
Tacha: For me, summers are crucial. That's the only offseason that I really get. So I hit pretty much everything. I do my football workouts in the morning, I do my basketball workouts in the evening, depending on when coach opens the gym. Summers are really where I hit it hard.
But other than that, I try to maintain throughout the school year. Keep lifting and just preparing my body for all the rest of the year.
Q: Everyone always talks about how college coaches like to look for multi-sport athletes, but is there an element that it's just fun?
Tacha: Of course. Playing everything's always fun. Sports are great. I couldn't see myself playing and it not being fun. I probably wouldn't do it.
Q: With the transition specifically from football and basketball, how tough is it to go from one realm where you're getting hit and your body's taking a little bit of a punishment and you don't really get time off before you go into another physical sport, how have you responded to that over the years?
Tacha: It's gotten a little easier. It's still extremely difficult. This year we played football on a Saturday (for the 1A state championship) and we had a scrimmage for basketball the next Tuesday. It was a quick turnaround, but basketball is definitely easier on your body, but harder in the sense you need to be in a different kind of shape. It's always hard to adjust but it gets easier through the years.
Q: Is it a situation where you have to wait until you're in basketball season to adjust or is there something you do towards the end of football season where maybe you're trying to balance things out without sacrificing what you need to do for football?
Tacha: I usually wait until it's in basketball season. When it's football season, that's my main priority and that's my main focus. And then when it's basketball season, of course that's my main priority. It usually takes a couple of games to get into the basketball shape and I have to try not to foul out in those early basketball games.
Q: When you look at athletes, whether it's, whether it's at Limon or Kit Carson, maybe a rival school, and you see someone sticking to just one sport, what turns you off about that kind of specialization?
Tacha: Specialization to me ... I would get to burned out of that one sport. Practicing for instance, basketball all year round, I don't know if I could handle that. I would get too burned out. My body would be in a different kind of shape I guess, but that'd be okay if I was just a basketball player.
I think playing all the sports helps me feel well-rounded and gives me more athletic capabilities. My biggest thing would be getting burned out in that one sport.
Q: What don't people know about being a multi-sport athlete that you think they should know or that you think they'd be surprised to know?
Tacha: I'm always busy. I never really get an offseason. My offseason is spent training for the school year. We just stay really busy.
Q: Do you think doing everything you can to keep up with multiple sports and then also when you add in schoolwork, and I'm sure you have responsibilities or things that you do outside of all that, is going to help you down the road whether it's transitioning to college or adult life?
Tacha: For sure. The biggest thing I've learned with being a multi-sport athlete is I'm learning to manage my time. I leave in the morning at 6 o'clock and then go to school and then practice and I don't get home until like 7:30 or 8. Then I still have to fit in time for homework and then eating dinner with my family.
Managing time is crucial being a multi-sport athlete and I think I've learned to do that very well.
Q: What's your favorite part about being a multi-sport athlete?
Tacha: I like being busy. I like having different friends from different sport. It's just good all around.