Coy’s baseball skills paying dividends on gridiron for Center Grove

At some point in the future, highlights of Center Grove’s 2022 football season will be viewed with an unmistakable sense of nostalgia.

Noah Coy is certain to play a starring role.

Through 13 games, the junior receiver has blended conventional catches with assorted oh-my-goshers that defy odds, befuddle defenders and leave spectators scrambling for the most appropriate adjective.

“Every time, I go, ‘Okay, third and — oh, he caught it. Touchdown. Holy cow,’” Trojans coach Eric Moore said. “It’s been amazing. It’s a credit to him because of his hard work and dedication.

“Noah is average size. He’s not a big, tall kid.”

Far from it, in fact.

At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Coy has combined precise route running with great hands, fearlessness and an ability to time his jumps perfectly to catch 57 passes for 1,031 yards and 13 touchdowns entering tonight’s Class 6A championship game.

He’s the ultimate go-to target for junior quarterback Tyler Cherry.

An outstanding third baseman in the spring, Coy verbally committed in August to play baseball at the University of Cincinnati beginning the 2024-25 school year. His skills as a fielder at the hot corner surely contribute to what he does on the gridiron, but there is more.

“I’ve always had a knack for catching the ball,” Coy said. “Even growing up, I’ve been blessed with a lot of coordination, so we’ve worked hard the last two years trying to win the 50-50 balls.

“I think a lot of it is positioning, too. Knowing whether to be on the inside or outside of a guy, and kind of bait him with my eyes. Route running is probably the best part of my game. Getting in and out of cuts well is what I take pride in.”

In a Week 4 win at Ben Davis, Coy made nine catches for 194 yards — including an amazing 53-yarder on the first play of the final period. A week later, he hauled in three TD receptions as the Trojans blanked North Central, 36-0.

However, the junior’s two favorite grabs this season were a 47-yard game-winner from Cherry with 2:26 remaining in the fourth quarter in a 31-27 victory over Carmel, and his 28-yard catch against what appeared to be perfect coverage in the fourth quarter that helped the Trojans rally to win a sectional semifinal at Franklin Central, 14-10.

Coy is quick to credit some of the program’s other outstanding receivers in recent years.

“I’ve had a lot of great receiver role models in Devon Hensley, Connor Delp, Trent Veith and Harrison Stomps who really helped me get to where I am today,” Coy said. “I’m very thankful for all of them.”

Moore, meanwhile, is thankful for Coy.

Not only now, but next season as well. Coy, who said Cincinnati likes the fact he’s a multi-sport athlete, plans to be lining up wide and catching passes from Cherry again next fall.

“He’s a Division I baseball kid who put the bat down to totally commit to football on Aug. 1,” Moore said. “What a great season. Big play after big play. And he goes against probably the best athletes in the state every weekend.”

When he does, more often than not, it’s Noah Coy coming down with the football.