Big plans for Swain senior McCoy

Big plans for Swain senior McCoy


Big plans for Swain senior McCoy


Spencer McCoy realizes what the scales would say right now.

The two-time defending NCHSAA 1-A wrestling champion at 195 pounds couldn’t come close to making weight.

But that’s OK. Because McCoy has bulked up and has plans of similar proportions for his final year of athletics at Swain County.

In addition to McCoy’s wrestling pedigree, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior linebacker/running back was voted the Smoky Mountain Conference’s preseason football player of the year by the league’s coaches.

And why not?

McCoy ran for a team-high 1,588 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior for the Smoky Mountain Conference champion Maroon Devils (12-3).

On defense, he secured 77 tackles (10.5 for a loss) and two interceptions.

“I just hope that I am able to do my best this season for the team and for the Maroon Devils community,” McCoy said.

“A lot of people are counting on us to be down and out. That’s extra motivation and truth be told, I think we’ll be fine.”

Swain County has not lost a conference game since 2010, the longest active streak of any football team in Western North Carolina.

Prolonging that run will mean that a lot of new faces emerge for the Maroon Devils – they return just nine starters (four offense, five defense).

And it will also mean that McCoy assimilates to a new position.

He is moving to tailback and Swain County’s top tackler from 2013, senior Taylor Oros (133 tackles, 10 for a loss, two fumble recoveries), is filling McCoy’s old position at fullback.

McCoy’s career record as a wrestler is 97-12 and his toughness and knowledge of leverage in the sport often translates to the football field.

“Spencer can do a lot of things for us,” Maroon Devils coach Neil Blankenship said.

“When you have a player that dynamic, the biggest thing we’re going to try and push for is more leadership. We’ve got a lot of young kids who look up to him.”

Swain County has been picked by SMC coaches to finish second in the conference behind defending NCHSAA 1-A champion Murphy.

Senior wide receiver Kobe Toineeta (45 receptions for 742 yards and six touchdowns) and junior wide receiver/safety Jordan Cody (35 receptions for 656 yards and 12 touchdowns) joined McCoy and Oros on last year’s All-SMC team.

Senior Canaan Sellers is one of the few Maroon Devils linemen with some experience.

He and other blockers will be charged with buying some time for a new quarterback – Blankenship said that junior Trent Wright and sophomores Kobe Stephenson and Luke Woodard were among the players in the running for that position.

Wright dislocated his non-throwing shoulder last week, which means that either Stevenson or Woodard will get the call for Swain County’s season opener Aug. 22 against East Henderson.

The most recent draft of the Maroon Devils’ roster has 14 seniors listed.

McCoy is the son of former Cherokee coach Skooter McCoy who went 49-16 in five seasons before resigning in 2010. Spencer McCoy started his athletic career at Robbinsville and then transferred prior to the 2013-14 school year.


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