DAPHNE — Since it only took Daphne junior setter Lucy McCoy a season and a half to surpass 1,000 assists for the Lady Trojans, head coach Casey Craig feels she can likely surpass the …
DAPHNE — Since it only took Daphne junior setter Lucy McCoy a season and a half to surpass 1,000 assists for the Lady Trojans, head coach Casey Craig feels she can likely surpass the 2,000-assist mark in her next season and a half.
"For me, I know that 1,000 is just a steppingstone for her," Craig said before Daphne's Sept. 20 area match against McGill-Toolen. "I have no doubt she's probably going to crack 2,000 to 2,500 assists in her time."
McCoy didn't even know she was approaching that many assists and was surprised when her team threw such a big celebration.
"I really wasn't expecting (the milestone), but I really wasn't expecting everything that they did. I was probably expecting a little congratulations, maybe some pictures, but they did a lot," McCoy said. "I almost started crying, tears of joy, but it was shocking because at times things would get so mentally difficult. As a team, you go through ups and downs, but I was thinking, 'Am I ever going to reach this goal?'"
She cited her father Brent for helping her persevere and get out onto the other side of her adversity.
"My dad used to be my coach, so he's always been reminding me of my stats and how big of a role that plays in my mental game," McCoy said. "He always likes to focus on the good and use that to build on top of your performance, so he just always told me to keep pushing and keep working toward what I want to do."
Craig emphasized not only the achievement itself but also the celebration on the Trojans' home court as trendsetters for the entire system.
"I think that's big, not just for her but for our program," Craig said. "To allow our home crowd to see that (was huge). We do a lot of stuff with our youth and feeder-pattern kids, and I got a message from a middle school teacher that their student said, 'I got to stand next to THE Lucy McCoy,' and they think they're celebrities."
Even within the program itself, Craig said some underclassmen are already trying to pick up everything they can before McCoy's final season.
"On our younger teams and in our program, we have two freshmen setters that I know really look up to her (Lucy) and I really appreciate that she takes the time to invest with them and tell them you are next up," Craig said. "You always want to leave something better than you found it, and so I think we're both on that path to do that."
Both Craig and McCoy's first season in Daphne came in 2021 when McCoy transferred from Orange Beach for her sophomore year. Each year, the Trojans' win total has increased, and Craig feels the squad is heading the right way.
"We've already cracked more wins than we had last regular season and we're only at the halfway point. What I keep saying, and I say it all the time, is that we're trending in the right direction," Craig said. "The year prior to my arrival – mine and Lucy's – the program was 4-22. Last year, we were 12-26 and right now (before Sept. 20's match) we're 15-14, so it's just steadily getting better."
One of this season's wins came within Class 7A Area 2 and that is where one of the next team goals lies.
"For the last few years, we haven't made it out of area so our goal this year is to definitely make that," McCoy said. "I see us doing some really great things and it's trending in the right direction so next year we're going to be even stronger than we are this year."
Once that season ends and McCoy's high school career wraps up, she hopes to have improved her leadership skills to become a go-to person for anyone on the team.
"I definitely want to become a stronger leader for my team and somebody that the younger girls can look up to," McCoy said of her personal goals. "Just somebody who can step up and lead the team and somebody that can be trusted by all people."
Even though she's still relatively new to the school and city, McCoy has certainly felt comfortable in the Trojans' purple and gold.
"Ever since I came to Daphne, it's been my home and I've felt very welcome here," McCoy said. "Building such a strong relationship with my team, and they're always so supportive of me, it makes me feel like I always have somebody to turn back to and they know I'd do the same for them."