McCoy, a junior linebacker for the Bearcats, was a huge part of Basile’s playoff season in 2020. The talented defensive player hunted down the football and recorded 39 tackles, 33 assists, 5 tackles for loss and two sacks as an all-district first teamer. (Gazette photo by Tracey Jagneaux)
Despite not playing football until junior high, McCoy caught on fast
BASILE -- Normally, players that are named as the Evangeline Parish Defensive Most Valuable Player have had a background of participating in arguably THE greatest game on the planet.
That is not the case for this year’s choice, Basile High’s Baylor McCoy.
The junior linebacker did not start his gridiron career until he was in junior high. Yet, despite only having a few years of football experience under his belt, the skilled ball hawk has made the most of the time he has spent on the field.
That definitely includes this past year. In the shortened 2020 campaign, McCoy racked up 72 total tackles (39 solo and 33 assists), five tackles for loss, two sacks, and one interception. Those numbers were good enough to get McCoy named to the first team all-district squad in one of the most competitive 1A districts in the state.
Those numbers are impressive considering McCoy and his teammates did not even know if they were going to have a season at all because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, McCoy and his fellow warriors still believed that the 2020 season would take place.
“In March when they shut down everything, it was upsetting,” stated McCoy. “If we would not have had the chance to have a season, it would have been bad, especially for the seniors. We just kept working hard and getting better once they allowed us to return for workouts. Deep down inside, I had a feeling we would still play, but you never know.”
“When they gave us the okay to play, I thought that we were ready to play,” McCoy continued. “Our team adjusted to the way we had to prepare for the season. It was weird because we weren’t able to do things the way we were used to doing them. We still had really good practices. The fact that the program allows us to know what to do to get ready is very important.’
One of the advantages McCoy has over the other players on the team is that he can go home and discuss football after practice. You see, his dad Brian is the defensive co-ordinator for the Bearcats. In McCoy’s mind, that is an important factor.
“It’s good to have your dad as your coach,” said McCoy. “When we are at home, we can go over things and make sure that things are getting done the right way. I wouldn’t trade having him as my coach with anything.”
McCoy and the Bearcats were tested early on in the season when they lost 28-0 to the Sacred Heart Trojans in a game that, by all accounts, was not one of Basile’s best performances.
“We just needed more time to practice and get into the groove of things,” commented McCoy. “Honestly, we knew that we had not played well. It was hard to adjust to not having a scrimmage and a jamboree to get prepared. We still could have done a lot better than we did.”
According to McCoy, the Bearcats did not panic and took things in stride. After that loss, Basile fell to Grand Lake in a last play, heartbreaking loss. But, the players could tell that the direction was starting to change.
“It was a horrible feeling the way we lost to Grand Lake,” said McCoy. “But, in that game I think we found out our potential and what we could do.”
That potential McCoy talked about showed itself in a huge way over the course of the next three games. Basile went on a run that took them to the second round of the playoffs were they met an old foe, Hanynesville, who Basile beat the year before.
Unfortunately, the Bearcats were not able to come away with the win over the Golden Tornado.
“Last year, I don’t think Haynesville prepared for us, but this year they were ready,” stated McCoy. “They were a really good team. We had a decent game, but they were just better than us.”