By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas
Graham High School head football coach Brad McCoy is thinking about post-season.
No, not the Big 12 championship game nor the machinations of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) points-ranking system that is becoming more and more important to his quarterback son Colt at the University of Texas.
The elder McCoy's Graham Steers host the Burkburnett Bulldogs Friday night in the regular season finale. Both teams are 2-1 in league play, and the winner walks away with the District 6-3A title.
Senior wide receiver Chance McCoy and freshman quarterback Case McCoy will be pivotal players in that game.
"They are both doing well this season," said their father and coach. "Case is playing with a lot of 18-year-olds and has taken some big hits, but he is leading us really well."
Case has accounted for about 2,000 yards through the air and 11 touchdown passes for the Steers (4-5, 2-1) ... many to his brother.
Chance has been looking at "several places" to play college ball and has already had some offers, according to Brad. Tulane, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Abilene Christian and, yes, even Texas are interested in the "middle" McCoy as a recruit.
"He's leaning toward ACU, and that would be a good option for him," said Brad. "He really likes Coach (Chris) Thomsen and Abilene, so I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up there."
When Colt was a senior and Chance was a sophomore at Jim Ned High School, the tandem accounted for 67 completions for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.
"They had a big year together," said Brad of his two sons who were named All-State for that remarkable 2004 season.
Despite the long hours involved with being a high school coach, father McCoy has been able to attend every Longhorn game during his eldest son's record-breaking year at Texas.
"I've been really fortunate with these late evening games," he said.
After the Steers games on Friday nights, McCoy has been able to get back in his office early on Saturday mornings, work on game films, etc., and for UT home games still be able to leave by noon for Austin and arrive an hour before game time. Then after a late-night trip back to Graham, preparation for the next Steers’ game begins on Sunday after church.
Even though seasoned television analysts are amazed by Colt's composure as a red-shirt freshman this season, his father is not surprised at all.
"I think when you talk about an athlete who's been well-trained and who has had a priority goal in mind the better part of his life to be in this situation, it is natural," said McCoy. "Whether he's playing in front of 5,000 people or 95,000, he can focus everything out but the 22 guys on the football field. To him, that's what it's all about. That's the way it was for him in the seventh grade, that's the way it was playing for the state championship in high school, and that's the way it is now. He has an uncanny ability to do that."
Brad suggested that Mother McCoy may be feeling the most overwhelmed by all the attention paid to her oldest son.
"It's been tough on Debra, just having to deal with the everyday scrutiny of her son and what he's doing," said Brad. "Everyone's writing nice things about him now, but those early articles were not very nice, and she had to deal with those issues."
Littlest brother Case is probably suffering the most, said Brad.
"He just really misses his brother. When they were growing up, there were many times when Case never left his side. The most impact has been on him. He just needs to see Colt often, but we've all missed him a lot."
The entire McCoy family talks with Colt several times a week, and the brothers talk "all the time" on the phone.
For a father with three sons in two pivotal football games involving Longhorn logos on their helmets this weekend, the elder McCoy sounded remarkably composed discussing it all.
That will no doubt change on the sidelines in Graham on Friday night and in the stands in Manhattan, Kansas, Saturday evening.