Maine South’s Coy comes home to Saint Xavier to play for national title
Maine South graduate Jimmy Coy, who has passed for 4,045 yards and 41 TDs this season, will be directing the Saint Xavier offense when it plays for the NAIA championship at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Rome, Ga. | Photo courtesy of Saint xavier athetics
Updated: January 16, 2012 9:52AM
Jimmy Coy didn’t win a state title at Maine South, coming as close as second place as a junior in 2005 to complete a stretch of three consecutive runner-up finishes for the Hawks.
Coy can make up for the near-misses Saturday when he leads Chicago’s Saint Xavier against Carroll College of from Helena, Mont., in the NAIA championship game in Rome, Ga.
“We have a shot to do something special,” said Coy.
In his first season on the South Side after two previous college stops, the 6-foot, 205-pounder has the Cougars 13-1 and in the program’s first title game. Saint Xavier beat Marian (Ind.) 30-27 in the semifinals to advance to the final weekend of the season. The team was scheduled to leave Tuesday and arrive in Rome on Wednesday.
Coy was sharp in the Dec. 3 semifinal win, which avenged Saint Xavier’s lone loss of the season. He went 25-for-33 for 287 yards and three TDs and no interceptions.
For the season, Coy has completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,045 yards and 41 TDs against seven interceptions. At least seven receivers have 23 catches and four have at least 40.
Still, Coy believes he could be better.
“I am happy the team is winning,” the 2007 Maine South graduate said. “I do have a lot of room to improve, so it’s nice to have next year, too. I am just trying to focus on winning this game.”
Coy is fifth former Maine South quarterback in Dave Inserra’s 11 seasons as head coach to play in college. But he’s only the second one to remain a quarterback.
As a junior in high school, Coy backed up Tyler Knight when the Hawks finished second to Lincoln-Way East. The following year, Maine South lost to Barrington in the second round. An injury early in the season prevented Coy from playing up to his potential.
“What an unbelievable program,” said Coy, the only family member to play football at Maine South. His younger sister Clarissa is a freshman at the school. “Those guys run a real good program, and they finally got it rolling the last few years with some championships.
“Coach Inserra and Coach (Charlie) Bliss get you prepared to play at the college level. They establish a work ethic in you.”
After graduation, Coy went to El Camino J.C., in California, for two years before moving on to Valdosta State (Ga.). Valdosta is known for its football tradition, both in high school and in college.
Coy spent one season at Valdosta State, ultimately realizing it wasn’t the right fit for him. He contacted Saint Xavier and moved back home earlier this year.
“It was a great opportunity for me,” he said. “It’s been a long journey, moving across the country twice, but I found a great spot here. It’s been a really good experience.”
At Saint Xavier, Coy’s been able to play closer to his family and friends. Even his grandmother in Ohio got to attend one his games this season. His parents, Jim and Pati, both will be in the crowd Saturday watching their son attempt to lead Saint Xavier to program history.