Hoy a 'dominant force' for Bigelow's success

by Levi Gilbert

With only three games remaining in the regular season, the 5-2A is barreling toward an explosive finish with three teams tied at 4-0 in conference play — Bigelow, Conway Christian and Magnet Cove.

Two of the teams — Bigelow and Magnet Cove — face off this week, and the winner will walk away with a great opportunity to win the 5-2A crown. Bigelow’s Jake Hoy has been waiting for this game for a year.

“Besides Perryville, Magnet Cove has been one of our biggest rivalries and competitors,” Hoy said. “Magnet Cove has gotten the better of us.”

Bigelow lost only one conference game last year — 40-22 to Magnet Cove. The loss kept Bigelow from the 5-2A title.

“This year, we are going all out for conference and then to state,” Hoy said.

Hoy is a member of the 2012 501 Football Team — 20 players representing all 11 counties in the 501. The team boasts the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the field. He was nominated for the team by his coach, Jeff Starks.

“Jake is a tireless worker in the weight room,” Starks said. “He plays his technique very well and flies to the football on every play. He maintains a 3.5 GPA and is very respectful and hard working in the classroom.

“When you tell Jake to do something, it gets done. Every Friday night after a tackle, you see Jake helping the other team up. He works hard, is loyal to his teammates and has great character.”

Jake Hoy (54) and the Bigelow Panther defense of 2011. (Ted McClenning photo)

Hoy, a senior linebacker, has been a big part of Bigelow’s success defensively. The Panthers are allowing only 10.7 points per game this season.

“Jake was second on the team in tackles (in 2011) after taking over for a two-time all-state player. I expect him to be a dominant force on defense and help lead us to a conference title,” Starks said of Hoy in his nomination.

Hoy has embraced those expectations.

“I want to be a great leader to our team,” Hoy said. “Bonding with the other players, the blood and sweat you go through during the summer, it’s just an amazing feeling. Pretty much all of my close friends are also my teammates.”

Hoy isn’t just consumed with football at Bigelow — his fingerprints are all over the school and community. He’s a member of BETA Club, Spanish Club, Art Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Youth Alive. He also attends Bigelow Baptist Church.

“Jake volunteers at his church and helps coach the younger discus throwers during track season,” Starks said. “He always looks for ways to improve on and off the field.”

And Hoy’s not holding anything back for his senior season.

“This year I’m going to try out for basketball and see how that goes,” Hoy said. “It’s my senior year, I might as well play all sports.”

Hoy plans on attending college and studying to become an EMT. It should come as no surprise. He’s always looking for a way to help others.

(Ted McClenning photo)