By Rick Morwick
Nick Coy had all the skills a year ago to be the Center Grove High School baseball team’s starting catcher.
But there was a problem. The state-power Trojans had a gifted senior who already anchored the position.
Consequently, Coy didn’t get to start behind the plate.
Instead, he got to start in the outfield.
He was simply too talented not to sit the bench.
“Coach thought I needed to be in the lineup, so he found a position for me in left field,” Coy said. “And now this year, it’s best for the team for me to be back behind the plate.”
Coy spent his entire senior season behind the plate for the Trojans, whose 2017 campaign ended last month in a first-round Class 4A sectional loss against Johnson County rival Whiteland.
Coy welcomed his return to catcher. Although he enjoyed playing in the outfield, catcher is his natural position. He played it throughout youth leagues and most of high school.
And it’s the position he’ll play next spring at Indiana Wesleyan University, where he’ll continue his baseball career on scholarship while majoring in accounting.
“I’ve caught pretty much my whole life,” Coy said. “That’s my main position.”
A multi-skilled player with a high baseball IQ, Coy was one of the Trojans’ top performers during his two seasons as a varsity starter.
Last season, with his glove and his bat, he helped lead Center Grove to sectional and regional championships. The Trojans lost an 8-5 heartbreaker against eventual state champion Roncalli in the semistate.
This season, upon returning to catcher, he was again proficient with his glove and bat. He committed no errors and was again among the Trojans’ top sluggers.
“Nick’s best quality is his attention to detail, both as a catcher and a hitter,” Center Grove head coach Keith Hatfield said. “He has come a long way in his development, physically and mentally, and that’s because he is always looking at the finer aspects, mechanically, on ways to improve.”
One of only a few returning starters from the regional championship team, Coy was instrumental in helping the Trojans regroup from a rough start to the 2017 season. Center Grove lost six of its first eight games but won 14 of its final 15 — a stretch that included a 10-game winning streak — to conclude the regular season.
Center Grove finished the year 18-9.
“Nick has been nothing but the best for our program,” Hatfield said. “He was not always the most vocal on the field, but I could always count on him to lead by example, and his teammates followed that.
“He will be greatly missed, both as a person and a player at Center Grove.”
For Coy, who hit .298 and scored a team-high 25 runs this season, the feeling is mutual.
“Honestly, just everything about Center Grove athletics is probably one of the greatest experiences I ever had, just because of the winning attitude everybody has,” Coy said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
THE COY FILE
Name: Nick Coy
Year: Senior (2017 graduate)
Varsity experience: Two-year starter
College plans: Will continue baseball career at Indiana Wesleyan University
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”
Parents: Greg and Jennifer Coy