A-K Valley athletes of the week: Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy, Reese Hasley

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Saturday, May 28, 2022 | 10:15 AM


Carson McCoy

Class: Senior

School: Deer Lakes

Sport: Track and field

Report card: Carson McCoy found success at the PIAA track and field championships over the weekend, winning gold in the 1,600 and 800 meters. McCoy also won gold in the 1,600 and the 800 at the WPIAL championships earlier this month at Slippery Rock.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Nick Chubb.

Who is your favorite sports team?

I’m a Browns fan. I just grew up on them. My parents were born and raised as one, and I didn’t really have much of a choice.

How did it feel to win the state title in back-to-back seasons?

It feels great. It definitely lifts a lot of pressure off of my chest, I guess, for the other events I have this weekend. It was nice to get the 4-by-4 (relay) qualified for finals, as well.

How is it racing with your teammates during the 1,600 relay?

Just to have a group of guys able to push each other, it’s so much easier to run when you’re running for a team rather than just for yourself. That’s an important part especially since all three of them are my good friends, so it’s really lots of fun.

How much would you say that your teammates have meant to you for the past four years?

Just showing up to practice and just training every day would be so brutal without them.

Last year you were second in the WPIAL in the 1,600. How did you take first at WPIALs this year?

I was just well prepared and had a lot more consistent training this year, so just felt a lot more confident going into the race than I did last year.

What goes into your preparation?

I run about probably 45 miles a week. Having consistent training and staying injury-free are pretty much the two main keys.

What is your mindset like to help prepare for the endurance side of running?

My mindset going into a race is just to run and just trust my training. I don’t try to think too much going into the races. I just tell myself to run.

What has been your defining moment in track and field?

I think probably my state win last year because I wasn’t a very high seed or anything. It was kind of unexpected for me.

What was Friday’s race like?

I just hung around there for, like, 1,400 meters or so and then just started to make my move with about 150 to go.

Who has pushed you the hardest?

Definitely my dad. He’s just instilled hard work in me from a young age. Without him instilling that in me when I was super young, I probably wouldn’t be here.

How much does your family mean to you?

It means so much. Just traveling to meets for me and just doing anything they can by pretty much just laying out the groundwork for my future, it’s meant so much to me.

What’s next for you?

I’m heading to Eastern Michigan in the fall, and I’m majoring in exercise science. I’ll be running track and cross country there, as well.

Reese Hasley

Class: Senior

School: Deer Lakes

Sport: Softball

Report card: Hasley went 3 for 4 in the WPIAL semifinals against South Allegheny, including the winning home run. Halsey holds a .458 batting average entering the team’s WPIAL championship game Wednesday against Avonworth at Cal (Pa.).

What is one thing you have to do before every game?

One thing I have to do is put on eye black. Our whole team puts on eye black. We think it just gives us that edge.

Who is your favorite athlete of all time?

I like Duke’s basketball team, so my favorite athlete was always Christian Laettner because there’s something about that bad-guy mentality.

How would you describe the team’s run through the WPIAL playoffs?

It’s just us working hard and working hard all season. We’ve had some hiccups here and there, but we’re finally putting it all together here in the playoffs and hard work is paying off.

How did it feel to hit that go-ahead home run in a clutch spot like that?

It was just awesome. That was my first home run ever, so to have that happen in a playoff game is just crazy to me. I’ve been working hard, and I’ve been getting up and trying to get that bat going and I got a good piece of it.

What went into that at-bat?

My coach just said “base hit,” so I just tried to get a base hit. As soon as I got ahold of that ball, it came in a little bit high and it was one of those pitches that were perfect. I got a great bat on it and it just flew, which is just awesome. As soon as I hit it, I just knew it was going.

What’s your approach?

I don’t stand too low, and I don’t want to stand too tall. I’m just kind of relaxed, but I want to walk up there with some confidence.

How important have your teammates been throughout your high school career?

My teammates are my everything. The first steps to having a successful team or just being on a team, in general, is having connections and having relationships with your teammates on and off the field. This season, our relationships are just awesome, and every one of us brings something different to the plate.

What have your coaches meant to you?

They’re always working just to make sure that we’re successful, but also to make sure that we’re just having fun and just really enjoying ourselves. We play our best is when we’re having fun,. They push us forward, and they really want to see us succeed.

Who has pushed you the hardest?

My dad for sure. He’s on the coaching staff. He’s an assistant coach on the team. It’s funny sometimes. He’s always on me. He’s pushing me and sometimes gets on me for some stupid things, and he’ll get on me for some good things, but when he gets on me for stupid things the girls all laugh at him sometimes, so we have some fun.

What does your family mean to you?

Family is No. 1 to me. They’ve always been my No. 1 supporter, and they’ve always been there for me. Even my extended family, my cousins graduated college and my other cousins and I are graduating high school this year. We went for, like, a graduation dinner, and they were just so happy for me and the team.

What was their reaction to your go-ahead home run?

We watched back the game on the broadcast and after I hit the home run, you can see my brother in the outfield. He jumps up and as soon as he jumps up, he sprints all the way across the fence and he grabs the ball.

How did it feel to score your 1,000th point in basketball this winter?

That was just the definition of just hard work paying off, especially playing our rival Freeport that night. Not only did I get that, but I got the winner and scored 1,000 points. I think it just made it that much sweeter.

Why did you decide to go to Grove City?

I chose Grove City because I just got a great feeling. I visited other schools that are looking at me for basketball, but Grove was just one that hit home. I just followed my heart with that one. I made that decision back in November, and I get more and more excited about it every single day. I’m gonna be continuing my basketball career, and I’ll be majoring in marketing.

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