Athlete Spotlight: Burr and Burton's Joey McCoy

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Burr and Burton's Joey McCoy has been a part of championship-winning teams in football and baseball, but hockey has been a love for the junior ever since he was little.

So far this season, McCoy is the leading scorer for the 7-6 Bulldogs after taking a year away from the ice to play basketball.

We had McCoy at the Banner offices this week to talk about going back to hockey, being a multi-sport athlete and his softer side.

Bennington Banner: You guys are in the thick of Division II, looking to finish the season on a high note before the postseason. How has the season been so far?

Joey McCoy: We have the final stretch coming up and we have a young team this year. We've been doing a lot of development. Ethan [Simonds], our goalie, has been playing outstanding this year. Coach [Mark] Slade is doing a great job with the team, trying to figure out where we all go and get the best lines clicking together. We're trying to finish strong to have a good seed for playoffs.

Banner: You're part of the No. 1 line on offense with Jordan Eisenman and Mark Carthy, how has it been working with them and trying to come together as a unit?

McCoy: We were put together later in the season, we're still trying to figure out what our lines were like. We've really done a good job getting our chemistry together, Jordan is a great passer, he's had a bunch of my assists. All in all, I think we're clicking and ready to hit the last stretch.

Banner: You have a lot of long trips, going to play teams like Missisquoi and Northfield in Northern Vermont. How are some of those trips like?

McCoy: The trips are fun, for sure. You try to get some team bonding going, they are long trips, so we have to come ready to play. Those are tough games to win up there, so we have to get in the right mentality and go up and play strong.

Banner: You play three varsity sports, football, hockey and baseball. Last year during the winter, you shed the hockey gear for a basketball uniform. Why did you make that choice and what was that change like?

McCoy: I've played hockey my whole life. Last year, I switched to basketball because it was my [brother, Jay's] last season in high school where I could play with him. He wanted to play basketball, so I decided to join with him so we could play one more year. I also wanted to try something new, wanted to see what it was like to play basketball [for the varsity].

Banner: You've been a part of the youth hockey programs in Manchester, the Northshire Hockey Association. Being involved in that for a bunch of years, what was that experience like growing up?

McCoy: It was great, I had a lot of great coaches along the way that have taught me so much over the years. Playing with teammates now that I had back then, it's like nothing really ever changed. It's really cool to see the changes in all of us.

Banner: Are you planning to play at the next level?

McCoy: I think I am going to try to play at the next level, but I'm not sure which sport yet. I'm leaning toward football and baseball. I'm excited to see what the future brings.

Banner: As a three-sport athlete, you've avoided the burnout that some face with specializing in one specific sport. How has playing three sports helped you as an athlete?

McCoy: I think playing three sports is a unique thing because each team is different and each sport requires different abilities and skills. The people on each team are great. It's important to keep yourself honest and have choices and expanding what you do is very beneficial.

Banner: How do you prepare for each sports season?

McCoy: I'm not going to lie, it's pretty tough. Usually going from sport to sport, you have about two to three weeks to get ready for the next one. It was especially tough for hockey this year having not played for a year and a half. You really have to be committed to sports and love it.

Banner: If you had to pick only one sport, which one would it be?

McCoy: It's a tough choice. I love them all the same, usually the season I'm in, that's the one I love. But if I had to pick, I would pick football. I love the physicality and the mentality of football, we've had a lot of success with Coach [Jason] Thomas over the years and it's got a soft spot in my heart.

Banner: What's your plan for college, if you have one yet?

McCoy: In my junior year now, that's a question that keeps coming up. I want to do physical therapy or something in special education. I'm searching for schools right now to see what fits me.

Banner: Is your brother helping you in the college process?

McCoy: He did his process and I'm doing my own thing. He has taught me a couple of things I need to know and it's helpful to know what's going on, but we're taking our own paths and I'm excited to see where I end up.

Banner: Let's talk about some things away from the ice. Who's your favorite teacher and class at BBA?

McCoy: Favorite teacher is probably Mr. [Peter] Nicholson, he's my English teacher, I've had him about every year so far and he's really good at what he does. My favorite class is probably P-Fit [physical fitness] with Coach Thomas, that's usually pretty fun. But I really like math, I have Miss [Jessica] Handler, I'm having fun with that class this year.

Banner: What's your favorite TV show?

McCoy: I'm a big Family Feud guy, I like to guess the answers and figure it out. I also love the Giants, so I'm usually watching football on Sundays.

Banner: What type of music do you listen to?

McCoy: I like some of the rap stuff, but I'm also into the slow stuff, the love songs, you like to get that vibe going.


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