Triple Threat

As a freshman, sophomore Mikey Pauley played on the varsity football, basketball and baseball teams and is continuing to play all three sports this year.


Photo courtesy of Mikey Pauley

Mike Pauley goes up for a layup in the Blue Valley Northwest basketball game, against Blue Valley Southwest, on Feb.2. BVNW defeated BNSW, 70-48.

Jack Nitz, Writer

Having played three sports since kindergarten, sophomore Mikey Pauley is now a varsity athlete for football, basketball and baseball. Pauley said that his brother, Jack, is the main reason he plays all three sports. 

“My older brother also played three sports and I just followed after him,” Pauley said. “He always helped me out and taught me pretty much everything I know.”

Pauley’s mother, Sabrina Pauley, said she loves everything sports has done for Pauley’s life. Sabrina said that all of Pauley’s sports are a big time commitment for the entire family, but they make it work. Sabrina mentioned how important of a role sports have in building Pauley’s character and improving time management. 

“Sports have helped Mikey so much, especially with building character and improving time management,” Sabrina said.

As a freshman, Pauley took over as the starting quarterback for varsity midway through the season last year and has solidified the role as a sophomore.

Head football coach Clint Rider said Pauley had a great season as a freshman and did a good job taking care of the ball.

“The good thing about being a freshman is that the pressure is off,” Rider said. “Now that he’s a sophomore, that pressure has risen up.” 

  Rider mentioned Pauley’s strong arm and mobility make him a great quarterback. The potential is there for Pauley, Rider said, and if he keeps working, he will become a great player. 

“There isn’t really a cap on his ceiling,” Rider said. “I think he could become one of the all-time memorable quarterbacks in school history.”

Coming off a 0-9 football season last year, Pauley said he began the basketball season ready to compete. Pauley played on the state championship basketball team, playing for the junior varsity and varsity teams. Pauley said not winning a football game last year was frustrating, but during the basketball season, that changed. The varsity basketball team went 23-2 on the way to the state championship, and Pauley said it was great to experience after going winless in the football season. 

“Being on an 0-9 team wasn’t what we wanted, but the family we built during football was like no other sport,” Pauley said. “Being on the state championship team was a very special moment that I will never forget.”

Head varsity basketball coach Ed Fritz said he hopes Pauley will improve from his freshman performance as a sophomore and be an essential piece in the basketball program for the next three years. Fritz said being a three sport athlete helps Pauley with basketball, because he is in good shape and maintains his competitive drive.

“I think it’s great that Mikey plays three sports,” Fritz said. “His other sports help him stay in shape and he’s able to compete all year round.”

Along with football and basketball, Pauley played on the junior varsity and varsity baseball teams last year as a catcher and designated hitter. Mirroring Rider’s sentiments, baseball coach Jade Samborski said that Pauley started off well on the junior varsity team and did a great job as he made the transition onto varsity in the middle of the season. Samborski mentioned Pauley’s team-first attitude and strong hitting made him fit in very well with his teammates. 

“Mikey is a great guy and his teammates really like him,” Samborski said. “He is a very strong player and a really good hitter.”

Pauley plays with many people across the three sports but one teammate, he said, is very supportive of him. Senior Jake Dolesh played football and baseball with Pauley last year, making him a teammate Pauley easily gravitated toward during the baseball season because he got to know him well during the football season. 

“During the football season, all the guys really embraced Mikey even though he was a freshman,” Dolesh said. “I played the same position as him during baseball, so we became even closer.”

Fellow sophomore Joey Robinson played basketball with Pauley on the junior varsity and varsity teams. Robinson said that Pauley was a very strong player last year who brought a lot of intensity. 

“Mikey brings a lot of intensity to the game, plays strong defense and gets a lot of rebounds,” Robinson said. “He’s a really good teammate because he always wants to win and he is very positive and supportive.”

While playing three sports, Pauley said he has had to work hard to manage his time between school and athletics. Pauley said that he tries to focus on one sport at a time so he doesn’t have to worry about doing too many activities at once. He said he also has to find time after practices to get his homework done and it can become challenging. 

“It can become difficult at times to manage my time with school and sports,” Pauley said. “It can become really tough when I have a lot of homework to do and I have to finish it all after a long practice or a game.”

Through sports, Pauley said he believes that he has become a better person in all aspects of his life. Pauley mentioned that sports have made him a harder worker and better at managing his time. 

“I enjoy sports because I can compete and have fun and I’ve also became a harder worker,” Pauley said. “I feel like playing sports has made me a better person in many ways.”