Coffey signs to play basketball at Methodist

Published 5:50 pm Friday, June 3, 2016

CHOCOWINITY — Now that his time at Southside is up, Pat Coffey is trading in his Seahawks jersey for Methodist University gear. The talented guard signed on to play for the Monarchs after years of standing out at Southside.

Coffey now joins fellow Seahawks Lawrence Brown, Matt Baxter, Donshae Tatum and others as college-bound athletes.

“I’m really excited to move on to the next level,” Coffey said. “(Methodist) had reached out to me the most, so that’s why I chose them. … When I visited there, I felt like I was home. They welcomed me in.”

Basketball coach Sean White added, “It’s a proud moment. He’s a good kid. When you have a kid that’s worked hard like he did during the year, bust his tail to do well, it makes you proud as a coach.”

White anticipates Coffey, despite being a bit undersized, has what it takes to be an impact player at the next level. However, he also believes that being a little smaller will help Coffey make the most of his ball-handling skills.

“At the level he’s going to be playing at, I think he’ll do fine,” he said. “He’s got the quickness. He can handle the ball really well, so that’s going to be a factor. … We always team them to keep the ball low when you’re making moves. No one’s going to steal it if you keep the ball low. That’s going to be an advantage he has against most of the guys he’ll play, I think.”

FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Pat Coffey, flanked by friends, family and the Southside coaching staff, signs on the dotted line on Thursday afternoon.

Coffey said that his ball handling is something he takes pride in, but also knows there are things to work on to become a better all-around player. Specifically, he wants to work on his shooting and defense.

Among all the skills that Coffey has with the ball in his hand, it’s his leadership on and off the court that attracted recruiters.

“I know that in just the year he was here, I could see a big difference in him motivating the other kids,” White said. “Also, on the floor, he’s talking during the game and giving some direction. He’s not an outspoken person. He’s not loud. Even in the game, he’s not loud, but he goes up to the other players and talks to them.”

As a senior, Coffey helped lead the Seahawks to a 10-12 season that included a trip to the postseason. The team faced its fair share of adversity right off the bat when the football team’s deep playoff run cut into preseason practice time, but Coffey and company managed to produce plenty of memories throughout the season.

Coffey and the rest of the team’s seniors capped off the season in appropriate fashion on Feb. 11 with a home game against rival Northside. Coffey potted 19 points and had seven assists to lead the Seahawks to an 81-65 senior-night win.

Four days later, Southside hosted a rematch between the two and the third clash of the year between the Panthers and Seahawks. There was more on the line this time around being that it was a first-round Coastal Plains Conference tournament game. Coffey scored 18 points, trailing fellow senior Tamazja Dixon (19) to help beat Northside again, 77-59.

Southside went on to come up short to top-ranked East Carteret. Coffey and the Seahawks traveled to Weldon for their first-round playoff game. They fell short again, marking the end of their season.

Now Coffey sets his sights on his college career. He’ll head to Methodist for preseason training on June 20. Even with all he has planned for himself on and off the court, his goals boil down to one thing: winning.