Seattle Times Male Athlete of the Year: O’Dea’s Tony Flor set the tone on defense

He was the Metro League defensive MVP in football and he was an All-American playing defenseman in lacrosse.

It all began in frustration for Tony Flor.

He’s the youngest of three boys with one younger sister, and baseball is the popular spring sport in the Flor household; the boys all playing football in the fall. But by the third grade, Tony had enough.

“I was really, really bad at baseball. I’d strike out every time,” he said with a laugh. A switch to lacrosse led to Flor to graduate from O’Dea in May as one of its best multisport athletes.

Captain of both the Irish football and lacrosse teams, Flor helped lead both to state-championship games and a Metro League title in football. He was also named Defensive MVP and an All-American in lacrosse.

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For his accomplishments, Flor is The Seattle Times’ Male Athlete of the Year.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” said O’Dea football coach Monte Kohler, who’s entering his 32nd season and also coached Tony’s older brothers. “Tony is one of the best leaders we’ve ever had at O’Dea. And without a doubt, we would not have had the season we did without what he did on the field but more importantly as a captain. He was always prepared and made sure everyone else was prepared, which made my job pretty easy.”

Flor’s success probably could have been predicted. He’s been around the football program since being a ball boy at age 8 when his oldest brother Sam joined the team.

Every season, Tony would design his own custom O’Dea jersey and intently go about his duties at practice and games while idolizing the players, including Sam and then Jack Flor when he played for O’Dea. Tony even shared the heartache when the Irish advanced to the 2011 title game and lost.

Vying for his own trophy, Flor, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound…

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