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After Verbally committing to play at Indiana Wesleyan, senior Coffey turns attention to season

by Andrew Costigan

Canaan Coffey had one of the greatest receiving seasons in Batavia football history, breaking records for most receptions (83) and yards (1154) in a season, but this wasn’t the only news Coffey was able to stir up this fall.

Coffey, who is a three-year starting guard at BHS, made a verbal commitment to play basketball at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) on Nov. 22. Coffey began talking to colleges around his sophomore year of high school and that is when he realized that his dream of playing at the next level might become a reality. IWU had been in contact with Coffey for several of years and extended an offer earlier this fall, but choosing this school was anything but easy for the talented Coffey.

Before committing to IWU, Coffey was debating whether to play football or basketball at the college level for a while and knew that this would be a very difficult choice, especially after his huge success on the football field the last two years.

Coffey, who averaged 96 receiving yards a game, racked in 11 touchdowns, and was named the Kane County Chronicle Player of the Year, earned serious attention from football recruiters some coming from the Division-1 level.

This attention made the decision to pick a sport that much harder, but for him it came down to his personal college experience.

Throughout my life basketball has always had a slight edge over football. I did look at a few schools for football, but I did not believe I would have the college experience I want at those schools,” Coffey said.

After deciding on the sport he wanted to play he still faced the tough decision of where he would spend the next four years of his life. There were a lot of schools interested in Coffey’s talents, especially after both his personal and team success this summer for his AAU team the Tri-City Thunder.

He credits a lot of his success to this summer team and says playing some of the best competition in the Midwest made him a much better player and competitor.

“He could easily score 30 points any given game,” said Brett Bowman, who is a longtime friend of Coffey’s and a Thunder teammates. “His leadership and maturity made us a much better team.”

He received interest from several schools but the three basketball offers he received were from Indiana Wesleyan, Taylor University, and Trinity International University. The decision was long and tough for Coffey but the guidance from his brothers and Dad who have all played some sport at the college level made it much easier. He got the best advice from his Dad, who played four years of basketball at Davidson (D1 level)  and brother Jessie, who played four years of basketball at Taylor University (NAIA level).  

“They helped me a bunch throughout my process,” Coffey said. “I think one of the things that was really good for me to hear was the different perspectives of my brother Jessie, and my dad. I was able to get different perspectives to see whether or not they enjoyed playing at that level and how their experience was.”

After this long, difficult process Coffey made his decision to attend Indiana Wesleyan University and he truly believes this is the best decision and truly a great fit for him. He decided on his commitment in late November just before his final season of highschool basketball began which was very important to him.

“This decision definitely takes a weight off my shoulders for my senior season,” Coffey said. “Now, I get to play without worry that I need to impress a coach that may be watching. I had always wanted to make my decision before the season because of that reason.”
He now takes the court with the only pressure coming from trying to bring great success back to the famous courts of Batavia and continue to build on his legacy at this school.

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