(WICHITA, Kan.) It's been six years since Johnny Coy helped Benton to a Class 3 Baseball State Championship.
Two Major League Baseball draft selections later, the 6-foot-8 senior Shocker still bleeds Cardinal red.
"I still talk to Coach Musser a lot, we're still close," Coy said. "Christmas break, I'll come back and he'll always have me sub for him, so I'm always in the building at Benton. I absolutely love the south end."
The Wichita State first baseman and designated hitter has heard his name called twice by major league clubs: the Phillies in 2008, and the Blue Jays in 2011.
But not this past year, which he admits was a surprise.
"There's a lot of scouts that had me high on the draft board. It just didn't work out. I had an advisor and he didn't really know what to say about it. I was pretty stunned myself."
That's just one step in a long career path that's led Coy to where he is now.
From starting his college career at Arizona State to play basketball and baseball to transferring to WSU to be closer to home in light of his father's health issues.
Not to mention denying a move to the minor leagues twice so that he could play for one of the most successful college programs in the country.
"I felt like I still had more to do at Wichita State, so I decided to come back. I feel like it was the right decision. I've been here for four and a half years now, this is a beautiful park. It's a player's dream to play here, so it's been a blast."
While he's not on pace to match those marks, the Shockers' longtime skipper, Gene Stephenson, says Coy is settling in to where he needs to be.
"He's starting to swing the bat now like he should, and he's starting to become a threat like he should," he said. "If he can just forget about what's already gone on this season, he's going to be fine and he's going to help us get where we want to go."
"I had a great year last year, and this year's not exactly how I planned it to be," Coy said. "But, I mean, that's baseball. Sometimes it happens."
Whether or not the future holds more baseball for Coy, it's been a long road for the Benton alum.
From the desert to the draft, from Phil Welch Stadium to the Northwoods League.
Coy says he's just enjoying the ride.
"I'm going to end up being a teacher and a coach. That's something I've wanted to do ever since I was little. I still want to do it eventually, and it if happens sooner than later, that's fine. Whatever happens after the season happens."
"This is the most fun he may ever have playing the game," Stephenson added. "The most important thing for him is to enjoy the remaining weeks and months, hopefully, that we have left."
The Shockers currently sit second in the Missouri Valley League with 14 games to go in the regular season.