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McCoig to play for Cumberlands

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By Goose Lindsay

Stephen McCoig has scored a lot of goals during his career at Roane County High School, but his biggest goal was achieved last Thursday when the Yellow Jacket senior signed scholarship papers to play for University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. “I’m very excited, very happy about it,” McCoig said after signing with the Patriots. “This is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. “I really like it there. They have a beautiful campus and it feels like a home away from home for me.” “I’m really happy for him,” Kingston head coach Elik Pickell added. “He’s a great player and a great kid plus he comes from a great family. He’s going to do great.” “We’re trying to find quality players that have good character and academic drive as well,” University of the Cumberlands head coach Brenton Benware said. “He’s a great fit in all three areas.” During his career at Kingston, McCoig has played several positions. This year he is playing forward while he has played mainly midfield in the past. The move to forward has led to McCoig putting up big numbers for himself and his teammates so far this year. “I feel like I’m finishing a lot better,” he said. “I feel like I’m able to score from all over the field. I’ve also been doing a better job of setting up my teammates this year.” “He’s a leader for us both on and off the field,” Pickell added. “He’s a great scorer for us, but he’s also a great leader for us. He really supports his teammates and works well with the younger players. “Playing multiple positions is something that has helped him. He knows what every position is required to do and he has the skill set to play them.” “I can play any position on the field and that’s made me more versatile,” McCoig added. “I’ll play anywhere on the field they need. I just want to be on the field.” While McCoig has the potential to make a good player at the next level, he knows there is a lot of work to be done before he reports to University of the Cumberlands in August. “I’ve got to improve my whole game,” McCoig said. “I’ve got to do a lot or practicing and running before I get there.” “There are two big adjustments for all freshmen,” Benware added. “First is they are on their own. Mom and dad are no longer running their schedule. They’re accountable for their own decisions. “As far as soccer is concerned, they find the game is much faster and much more physical. They’ll grow stronger physically and intellectually.” “He’s got to continue to work on his game and he’s got to get bigger and stronger, but this is the case for most freshmen” Pickell said. “He’s got the drive and mental toughness to get this done. This is not an ending for him.”