Two-time state champion Spencer McCoy has been cleared to wrestle what’s left of his senior season at Swain County.
McCoy revealed the news through Twitter.
“Because of lots of prayers, and God’s doing, I will be able to compete for my senior wrestling season starting Thursday,” McCoy wrote.
McCoy was a 29-0 NCHSAA 1-A champion at 195 pounds in 2014 and the three-time Smoky Mountain Conference champ’s career record is 97-12.
He tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during a Nov. 21 football game for Swain County. The McCoy family was initially told that it was a torn anterior cruciate ligament which would have required surgery.
That original diagnosis proved to be false and January has always remained the target month for a return to the mat.
This year’s NCHSAA wrestling tournament is scheduled for Feb. 19-21 inside the Greensboro Coliseum.
RetroRankings.com compiles the only individual state rankings for wrestling. The site has not wavered in keeping McCoy at No. 1 in its NCHSAA 1-A list for 195-pound wrestlers despite his knee injury.
McCoy is the son of former Cherokee football coach Skooter McCoy, who resigned that position in 2010 with a school record for career wins (49) and two SMC championships (2006 and 2007).
“We’re excited about it,” Skooter McCoy said Friday.
“We were worried, but he is still mathematically-alive to get in the 15 matches he needs to get a decent seed at regionals. The big thing right now is his conditioning. It takes a lot to get on a wrestling mat when you’ve been off for so long.”
Spencer McCoy is expected to miss this weekend’s James Orr Invitational at Robbinsville (a SMC school where he transferred from prior to the 2013-14 school year), but return in the following week.
Skooter McCoy said his son is currently walking around at 215 pounds, so a weight cut to 195 might be too much to ask. Instead, Spencer McCoy is expected to go for a third NCHSAA 1-A championship at 220 pounds in February.
“We really do appreciate the prayers and thoughts for Spencer,” Skooter McCoy said.
“A lot of people have been thinking about him. The best thing about Spencer is that he’s a very strong kid with a very strong faith.”