Laurel High’s Luke McCoy put together a strong season on the gridiron.

Those on-field accomplishments continue to garner off-field accolades.

McCoy, a 5-foot-9, 179-pound senior running back/linebacker, was named to the 2021 Pennsylvania Football Writers’ Class 2A All-State Team at running back on Tuesday.

McCoy set six school standards this season: rushing yards (1,803 on 161 carries), career rushing yards (4,005 on 423 carries), season touchdowns (31), career touchdowns (63), single-season points scored (186), career points scored (390). In addition, McCoy missed his sophomore season with a torn ACL and COVID shortened the 2020 campaign.

“All the records he broke was just phenomenal,” Spartans coach Brian Cooper said. “To be the leading rusher at Laurel, that tells you the remarkable career he had.

“He was so explosive and fast; Luke was one heck of a football player.”

A son of Kristine and Doug McCoy, Luke McCoy earlier this month was named first team at running back and linebacker on the Midwestern Conference all-star team, as well as capturing the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Laurel finished the regular season at 10-0, its first unbeaten regular since 1977. The Spartans also captured the Midwestern Conference championship as well.

Laurel won its first WPIAL Cass 2A playoff game against McGuffey, 41-2, but dropped a 6-0 decision to Serra Catholic in the quarterfinals. The Eagles captured the WPIAL title. Laurel finished with an 11-1 overall record.

McCoy rushed for over 200 yards two different times this season — in wins over Ambridge and Freedom. His season-high tally of 223 came against the Bridgers. He was held under 100 yards rushing just three times, and two of those came in victories.

“Luke has a lot of ability,” Cooper said. “The cast is around him. The defenses can’t just focus on him.

“He has the ability to get to the outside. You have to respect his speed. It’s very difficult to defend him. The way we run the no-huddle offense makes it difficult to defend Luke and our other playmakers. Luke is a remarkable player. To have that type of speed, and to have the power and strength to go along with it is incredible. He’s very strong. If you think you’ll just tackle him, it isn’t easy.”

McCoy scored touchdowns in each of the first 11 games, only failing to score in the team’s loss to Serra Catholic. In fact, McCoy scored two or more touchdowns 10 times. McCoy was held to one touchdown in the second game of the season, a 21-13 decision over Shenango.

“He has great vision,” Cooper said of McCoy. “Even when he’s blocking, he knows where to make the cut.

“His understanding and knowledge of the game, to me, is another thing that separated him. He’s well-deserving of (all-state). He’s busted his butt and he has the skillset to go with it.”

Cooper pointed to his dedication to his off-field work as a key to McCoy’s success as well.

“Luke is nonstop in the weight room,” Cooper said. “He was in there on Christmas break and he didn’t stop at all last year.

“He was a leader in the weight room and he was the strongest kid on our team.”

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Sports Editor

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is the sports editor at the New Castle News. Email him at

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