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Trinity’s McCoy signs track scholarship to Mississippi State

Reina Kempt | The Natchez Democrat Trinity Episcopal Day School multi-sport athlete Arzell McCoy rings his Mississippi State University cowbell in front of several Trinity students and faculty, including track coach Curtis Moroney, as he signed his athletic scholarship with the Bulldogs Thursday.
Reina Kempt | The Natchez Democrat
Trinity Episcopal Day School multi-sport athlete Arzell McCoy rings his Mississippi State University cowbell in front of several Trinity students and faculty, including track coach Curtis Moroney, as he signed his athletic scholarship with the Bulldogs Thursday.

NATCHEZ — Arzell McCoy never saw himself as a collegiate track runner when he was younger. The Trinity Episcopal Day School senior always thought he would play basketball or football.

But McCoy’s talent and genetics spoke for itself.

McCoy signed a letter of intent to run track at Mississippi State University Thursday in front of the students, faculty and his family in the school’s library.

McCoy couldn’t keep a smile off of his face as he pulled on his Bulldogs hat and rang the white Mississippi State cowbell while the library filled with applause.

As an all-around athlete, he helped bring the football team a state championship, and he led the basketball team to the MAIS overall tournament with 18.55 points a game.

But no one really expected track to be the sport that McCoy loved the most.

McCoy didn’t figure it out either until his sophomore year.

“I really started to get the hang of the hurdles when I was about 15 years old,” McCoy said. “And I worked so hard with everything I have done to this point, I can’t even describe how much time I have put into track. The training, the summer workouts, it paid off big time to say I’m going to an SEC school.”

Running and jumping with the type of finesse McCoy hones was not only the result of practice and determination, his mother Gail Sherman played a role in it as well.

“I think the genetics came from my mother’s side of the family,” Gail said. “I have had aunties to make it to the Olympics and uncles to make it to Alcorn State and Texas Southern,”

With that type of athleticism running in his blood, McCoy finished his senior year with five state championships in track and field events.

Along with winning several events, he also got his names in the MAIS record books.

McCoy broke the MAIS record for the 300-meter hurdles with a tie of 38.63 seconds. He also broke the Class A record in the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.76.

He helped lead the team to wins as the anchor of the 4×200 and 4×400-meter relays and won the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches.

Trinity track coach Curtis Moroney said McCoy’s performances this year were amazing, but more importantly, McCoy has the humbleness and drive of an athlete coaches dream about,

“He’s such a nice kid and whatever you need him to run, he would run it,” Moroney said. “I knew that if we got into a dogfight in the last leg, (Arzell) would find a way to pull it off.

“He understood the benefits of practice. That comes from being raised and trained by his parents.”

Evidently, Mississippi State track coach Steve Dudley saw McCoy’s talent and wants him in Starkville this summer to begin training.

“I leave in the end of June and training begins July 2,” McCoy said. “I will be running the 100 hurdles and the high jump. I know I’m going to have faster competition, so I’m getting prepared to run with the best, train with the best and be coached by the best.”

Moroney said he knows the Bulldogs have acquired a great asset to their team.

“He’s a great runner and a tremendous benefit to Mississippi State, and I hope he is of value to them as he was to us,” Moroney said.

McCoy said he will study landscaping at Mississippi State.

He is the son of Gail Sherman and Arzell McCoy.