PERMIAN BASIN PROFILE: Permian’s McCoy adjusting to leadership role with Lady Panthers

Two years ago, Tobi McCoy entered the Permian soccer program a scared and shy freshman.

After initially being placed on the Lady Panthers’ junior varsity team, head coach Chad Peterson decided to bring her on a road trip with the varsity team to a tournament in El Paso.

That weekend, McCoy performed to a level where she earned a starting spot, and two years later, she’s never relinquished it.

McCoy’s gone from someone having to force her way onto the team to the player the Lady Panthers’ program wouldn’t be the same without as a junior team captain.

“She can be just about anything that she wants to be with this program and take this team about as far as they can,” Peterson said about McCoy.

McCoy learned from such players as Sam Vestal, Hope Koym and Kaylee Paz during Permian’s 2016 run to the regional semifinals. Now instead of looking up to players three years older than her, she’s one of the players the younger athletes look up to.

“They were great, they were the reason we went that far because of their leadership,” McCoy said about the 2016 seniors. “I’m trying to be the Hope and Sam and all of them for this group and trying to lead them as best as I can as they did us.”

McCoy has returned to her usual central midfield role, where this season, she’ll go back and forth from offense to defense to help Permian in most facets of the game.

Peterson said McCoy came back in 2018 with a personal drive to make every second matter. Throughout the season, Peterson wants McCoy to help spread that passion throughout the rest of the team.

“If we can have, five, six, seven, heck, if we can have 10 or 12 with the same personal motivation and the same drive all together, there’s no telling what this team can possibly do,” Peterson said.

McCoy feels similarly knowing that she’s never been more prepared for a season.

“I feel like I can lead the team better,” McCoy said. “I know for sure what I’m supposed to be doing. Last year I was still a little iffy, but this year I’m confident with what I know I need to do.

“We brought some newbies on and they fit in perfectly with us and we all just work very well together. We just encourage each other I feel like more than we ever have since I’ve been here.”