Mark McCoy will pursue a baseball career.
But the most memorable sports moment of his senior year at Barnegat High School happened on the football field.
McCoy, who played quarterback, scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak in overtime to give the Bengals a 27-21 win over Brick Township on Oct. 21. The win helped propel the Bengals to the Shore Conference B South title - the first championship in the football program's history.
"I told my coach (Rob Davis), 'Give me the ball and I'll score,' " McCoy said. "He said, Take it.' I got thrown into the end zone by one of my linemen. I'd made sure I was in and then I started going nuts."
McCoy is one of the state's top pitchers and he played basketball. He is The Press 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound McCoy had a 0.98 ERA, and struck out 80 in 57 innings this spring. He throws in the high 80s to the low 90s.
"He loves to compete," Davis said of McCoy. "He loves to go after it. He wants the ball. He wants to make the play. He loves the competition. He thrives on it."
The Milwaukee Brewers drafted McCoy in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball draft this spring. But he fell in the draft only after telling teams that he wouldn't sign a professional contract unless drafted in the first six rounds.
McCoy is unique because many athletes with his baseball ability would have focused solely on that sport.
They wouldn't have taken a chance getting hurt playing football and instead of playing basketball they would have prepared for the upcoming baseball season in the winter.
But McCoy comes from an athletic family. His father, Dan, is the Barnegat head baseball coach, and he played at Rutgers University in the 1990s. His mother, Tia, played soccer for the Scarlet Knights.
McCoy will attend Wake Forest University on a baseball scholarship. He is pitching in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League in Aberdeen, Md., this summer and will head to Wake Forest in August.
In a telephone interview last week, McCoy spoke about a number of topics, including his decision to play three sports and what it was like having his father for a coach.
On his decision to play three sports:
I'm a competitor. I like to compete. Football was a no-brainer. I've been playing football (with his teammates) since I was 6 or 7 years old. I knew we could do something special this year. I could never imagine walking into a room, looking (his teammates) in the eye and telling them I'm not playing football because I'm going to focus on baseball. That's not the type of a guy I am. I'm a leader. I like to lead them to victory.
On his relationship with his teammates:
It's big. Even to this day when we're hanging out we always bring up football memories. If I didn't play this year, I wouldn't be a part of those memories.
On being raised in an
I grew up at the baseball field. I grew up at the soccer field. The only thing I can remember from when I was young was either throwing a ball or kicking a ball or catching it. Having that as a background helped me a lot as an athlete and a person. At a young age, determination, hard work and self motivation were instilled in me.
On his best baseball memory:
It's the first time we played Toms River East at our place (Barnegat won 4-3 on April 23rd). I had eight or nine (strikeouts), and I had a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth.
On playing for his father this spring:
He's been my coach ever since I was born. It was tremendous playing my senior year with him as a coach. Yes it sometimes (stunk) because he would come out to the mound, and he wouldn't sugarcoat it. Our freshman catcher would be like, "Did, he really just say that?" My dad knows how to get me fired up.
On what his mom thought about those father-son mound chats:
My mom's philosophy was, "I don't want to know about them." My dad's rule was, "When I'm on the baseball field, I'm your coach. When I'm home, I'm your father. If you want to talk about the game, you bring it." My mom was like, "The same rule applies (the mound chats). I don't want to hear about it (laughs)."
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