Muenster star Martie McCoy balances football and basketball

Photo by Russell Wilburn

This time of year, Muenster’s star player is pulling double duty.

Normal, right?

Plenty of student-athletes are multi-sport in high school. Well, Martie McCoy’s athletic resume isn’t quite as common. Since 2020, one of the state’s most consistent basketball stars of the last three years has also been her varsity football team’s reliable kicker. One year, she’s helping Lady Hornet Basketball reach their first state tournament in 10 years while scoring a team-high 13 points in the title game and eight months later, she’s sending the football team to a regional final on a game-winning field goal. And is now one of the leaders in Class 2A in extra points made as a senior. 

“Martie was one of those kids that's watching (the football team) going, ‘I can do this. I can do this,’” Muenster girls basketball head coach Chris Hightower recalled.

Before she focused on basketball her freshman year. McCoy grew up playing select soccer. With that background she knew she had the technical skill to make it as a varsity kicker. She just wanted the opportunity and had expressed interest since middle school. When she got up to high school, the biggest obstacle for her was that Muenster didn't need a kicker. Trey McTaggart, now kicking for DII program East Central University, was the team's reliable leg for two years. But following McTaggart’s graduation in 2020, McCoy’s opportunity came to help a team that needed a spot filled that ensuing fall. Muenster head football coach and athletic director Brady Carney reached out to Hightower and noted McCoy’s interest about three games into that season. Not only were her kicking talents needed, but Carney saw the benefits of having McCoy’s leadership and presence on the team as a bonus with the Hornets struggling to find its footing with a 1-2 record.

“How can I argue with that,” Hightower remembered. “The one thing about Martie is everything she does, whether it's academics, sports, whatever. It's all-in.

“If she misses a field goal, what she's going do is she's going for 30 minutes trying to fix that, just like she does at basketball.”

She made her debut against Electra and was 7-for-8 on extra points.

“I know, it probably didn't make (Hightower) happy at first, but we figured it out,” McCoy joked.

“They had her kicking off and I didn't like that at all,” Hightower responded.

Naturally, Muenster’s star basketball player playing a full-contact sport was a major cause concern for her basketball coach, but it was for Carney too.

“I’m still worried about her getting hurt,” Carney told the Gainesville Register in 2020 following her debut. “I told her that from the very beginning because her college future is being paid for. To go out there and risk that is something that concerns me. Martie is going to do whatever you tell her to do, and we made sure she was protected.”

Since joining the team, she’s avoided dangerous situations and when it comes to time management, like any other dual-sport athlete, the senior simply makes it work.

She uses athletic period for basketball, her priority, lifts after school and then joins the football team for practice after that. Basketball is McCoy’s future. She’s committed to DII powerhouse Lubbock Christian who just lifted their third national title last spring. As long as she eventually joins up with the football team, she’s golden. For instance, earlier this season, she couldn’t leave school early with the rest of the team to head to Vernon, Texas for the Hornets’ non-district game against Lubbock Trinity Christian due to basketball practice. But she made it afterward and went 5-for-5 in PATs. Now the Hornets sit unbeaten as DCTF’s No. 2 team in 2A DII heading into the post-season.

Martie McCoy (23) during the 2020 state championship.

“I know where my leadership presence is needed most and it's definitely the basketball court,” McCoy said. “So, if there ever is a choice, I go basketball for as long as I can. But I always make it back to the (football) games. It just doesn't happen to be with everybody else.”

For the small town of just under 1,500 people whether or not they see a state title this year, the name Martie McCoy will be remembered for her contributions all over. But of course, a state title would be nice.

“I think what separates her from most is it's not just about what her stats are, what things are going to be left behind, her titles, and all-states and all those kinds of things,” Hightower said. “She's leaving this program better than what it was when she came in. And I think that's the mark of a true leader. And she took that and ran with it.”

As for the Lady Hornets this year, McCoy’s in a different position. Not only is she the returning all-state forward, but she’s also the lone returning starter. The only senior on the team this yar. A big change from being the freshman who made varsity just three years ago. The No. 4 team in the TABC Class 2A rankings now embarks on McCoy’s final season with her as the leader. Expectations are still high. Hightower enters his fourth year at Muenster and possibly his most challenging. But it helps having an extra coach on the floor in McCoy.

No longer is she the unknown sophomore who had her coming out party in the regional final where she scored a game-high 18 points and snapped Martin’s Mill’s 116-game win streak. She’s the one everyone looks to, with a much-improved outside game according to her coach.

“It's easy to look at a new roster and say that it's hard to tell whether or not they're going to be competitive,” McCoy said. “But I'm excited to see what our younger girls do. I'm excited to see them step up into their new roles and to really take on that Muenster Varsity Lady Hornet Basketball role that they've all been, I know, dying to step in for years.”

As the basketball season tips off around Texas, don’t look for the Lady Hornets to start at the same time as everyone else just yet. All of their non-district games are on Saturday. That works for McCoy, who already has plans on Friday night.

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