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updated: 6/12/2014 11:08 AM

Wildwood Special Olympian takes leadership role on volleyball team

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  • Jason Coy of Wildwood will represent Illinois on the volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.

       Jason Coy of Wildwood will represent Illinois on the volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Jason Coy, right, of Wildwood practices volleyball in his driveway with his father, Marion. Jason will represent Illinois on the volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.

       Jason Coy, right, of Wildwood practices volleyball in his driveway with his father, Marion. Jason will represent Illinois on the volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Anyone who has stopped at the McDonald's at routes 120 and 45 in Grayslake during the last 15 years may have crossed paths with an accomplished athlete, though they probably weren't aware of Jason Coy's skills.

The 31-year-old Wildwood man is not boastful, but he has a roomful of medals and trophies and is getting ready to take the big stage as a member of Illinois' volleyball team in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.

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"A lot of people in this area don't know who he is but recognize his face," says his mom, Iris.

Coy works the drive-up window, handing out orders. But his passion since an early age has been sports. He has played and has awards for many, including bowling, softball, golf, basketball and boccie.

The family moved to Wildwood in 1979. Jason, who is learning disabled, has been participating at Warren Special Recreation Association since he was 4 years old.

"It really got him out and helped him grow as an individual," Iris Coy said of her son's involvement in sports.

Coy has been to state competitions for a variety of sports except volleyball, which he started playing about six years ago.

"It's something I fell into," he said.

He was nominated for the state team by his coach, Amber Bodame. She described Jason as a hardworking and determined all-around athlete.

"Jason is definitely the leader on our volleyball team. He understands the game. He's kind of a coach on the court," she said.

Ten Special Olympics Illinois athletes were selected for the volleyball team and Coy's dedication is evident, according to Hannah Sheets, the state team coach. He has attended all four voluntary and mandatory practices held downstate, and completed assigned training workouts, Sheets said.

"He can pass, set and hit -- and also has a strong serve," she said. "He's very good at knowing where the setter is and passing to them and calling for the ball when he's in the setting position," she told the Daily Herald in an email.

"I think that Jason is a solid player and we'll rely on his consistency" during the USA Games, she added.

Iris Coy says her son is not stressed by the competition.

"There are times you'd be in front of a large audience -- I'm nervous and he's not," she said.

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