MANCHESTER, Vt. (BVM) — Burr and Burton Academy’s Joey McCoy has shined in just about every sport he’s played. From early on at BBA, it was easy to see what they had in their future star.
McCoy was a three-sport athlete for the Bulldogs, who even dabbled into a fourth sport, basketball, in the middle of his high school career. His resume in all three sports is almost unprecedented.
Over the last two years, McCoy led BBA to two straight football state championships. After leading the team his junior season to a VPA Division II state championship, McCoy would have to repeat against stiffer competition his senior season, with the Bulldogs switching to a higher division.
McCoy wouldn’t disappoint in his senior campaign putting up 3,930 total yards of offense and 56 touchdowns. To cap off his season, McCoy helped lead BBA to their second consecutive state title with a 531-yard, five-touchdown performance against St. Johnsbury for the Division I state title.
McCoy has been playing football, hockey and baseball almost all his life. Luckily for him, the seasons don’t overlap.
On the baseball field, McCoy started for the varsity team his freshman year and helped lead the Bulldogs to a Division I title, with crucial hits in the championship game. On the ice, McCoy played on the varsity team since his freshman year. In his final season at BBA, McCoy scored 15 goals and had 17 assists.
Going from one sport to the next hasn’t been an issue for the recent BBA graduate. His father says he’s used to the idea of switching things up every couple of months.
“I always feel that being a three-sport athlete can give you some advantages than just playing hockey for 15 years and all you do is play hockey,” said Tom McCoy, Joey’s father and BBA’s football coach. “I think there’s a bigger burnout factor when you just play one sport. I think it’s good to be coached by different coaches, to play with different players. I think it’s kept a fire inside of him because, three months, you’re moving on to the next sport. I know one of his goals was to be a captain of every sport that he played in and he managed to do that.
“He’s been playing all three of those sports his whole life, he doesn’t really know anything different than going from one season to the next.”
With the cancelation of the spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joey would miss out on his senior baseball season. The time off has been the closest thing he’s had to an offseason during his time at BBA.
“I’ve never experienced an offseason, except for this pandemic and not playing baseball this spring,” Joey said. “I never really knew what it was like to not play a sport. I never felt burned out, I felt like athletics and sports were kind of a lifestyle. Just playing each year competitively, trying to be the best team, was something that I would never pass up. I don’t think I ever felt burned out, but it definitely got tiring.”
The BBA alumnus, who finished with a 3.96 GPA in the classroom, will now focus on one sport next season as he plans to play football for the Hobart Statesmen alongside his older brother, Jay. Joey has followed in the elder McCoy’s footsteps playing the same sports and even the same position his last two years of football. For Joey, having his older brother there has been important.
“Jay had his own talents and had a very good high school career in every sport,” Joey said. “For a while there I was kind of under his wing, he was the guy and I was just another player on the team. His success was something that I wanted to follow and try and be as good, or even better.
“It was tough for a couple years, especially my freshman and sophomore year just never thinking I was going to be as good. He was always good at teaching me the ropes and showing me the way. Through my experiences playing with him he’s really helped me grow as an athlete and even more as a person.”
The McCoy family is excited to be able to watch the brothers play on the same football field again.
“Super excited to go and compete at a higher level and even more excited to be playing with my brother again,” Joey said. “We have a great bond on and off the field and it’s just a cool and unique experience because a lot of people don’t get to play with their brother or sister when they get to college, so I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get after it again.”
“I really expect much of the same, because of their work ethics and how they prepare and how mentally sharp they are in regards to football and watching film,” Tom said. “It’s cool that they have each other to push each other to be the best that they can be. I think the next two years will be years that they will remember for a long time, playing college football together.”