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Daily Herald's 2016 Season Coverage
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updated: 2/15/2016 8:20 PM

'Team Coffey' days at Batavia approaching an accomplished ending

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  • Canaan Coffey

    Canaan Coffey

  • Jesse Coffey

    Jesse Coffey

  • Micah Coffey

    Micah Coffey

  • Jordan Coffey

    Jordan Coffey

 

It is a name synonymous with Batavia High School athletics for more than a decade.

Simply mention the last name Coffey and it will likely send area coaches scouring through game films searching for the best line of defense and wiping their brows during games.

Since 2005, the four sons of Brian and Lorene Coffey -- Jordan, Jesse, Micah and Canaan -- have made their presence felt both on and off the playing field for the Bulldogs.

Together, they've recorded countless accomplishments on football fields, basketball courts and baseball diamonds.

Whether it was quarterbacking the football team to the Class 6A state football championship (Micah) to hitting game-winning, buzzer-beating basketball shots (Jesse and Canaan) to pitching and slugging the baseball team to an Elite Eight appearance (Jordan), the Coffey brothers have been there, done that.

As the 2015-16 boys basketball regular season heads to a close next week, the Coffeys' memorable high school run is nearing its final chapter.

And what a story it has been.

"It's weird," said Canaan, a senior who recently reached the 1,000-point career milestone against Geneva. "It seemed like it went by fast.

"Growing up, pretty much all I did was go to their games," Canaan said of his older brothers. "I was in elementary school when Jordan was a sophomore playing in the state football championship game. I was a fifth-grader when he was a senior. I remember all the seniors saying it goes by fast. I can totally back that up."

While there may have been added pressure following in his brothers' footsteps, Canaan also had the advantage of watching so many games prior to his own high school career.

"I definitely think it has benefited me a good amount," said Canaan. "I got to see how my brothers handled things. They taught me so much about handling themselves on the floor, respecting coaches, referees and opposing teams."

Canaan received his introduction to athletics at a young age.

"We still have the video from when Jordan hit his first home run when he was nine years old," said Brian. "As he was rounding third heading for home, there's Canaan behind the screen standing in a diaper eating a Popsicle."

As the Coffey brothers grew older, their schedules became a lot more hectic.

"We've probably watched thousands of their games," said Lorene. "With four boys, it was tough to balance at times but we were very fortunate for car pools from other parents. We relied on help from other families."

All four boys began playing varsity sports as sophomores.

"By the time Canaan is done, we will have seen our boys play more than 600 varsity games," said Brian. "When you add in all the travel sports, that number is closer to 3,000. There was one year when all four were playing travel baseball.

"We had a weekend where they played 20 baseball games between Friday and Sunday. It's kind of crazy to think about but it was a great thing for the boys. They've learned about leadership, humility and courage, and they've made a lot of friendships along the way."

While competitiveness is a staple of the Coffey family, there were few moments where tempers escalated.

"There's internal competitiveness but they understand they're on the same team -- Team Coffey," said Brian. "They are each other's biggest fans."

"We didn't have the season we wanted but playing basketball with Micah was a blast," said Canaan, who was a late call-up to the varsity football team the year Batavia won the state title. "We'd have some little fights but only because we're both so competitive. We love getting after it but we're best friends."

At home basketball games, the family sits in their customary location -- near center court a couple rows down from the top.

"They're big supporters," said Canaan. "When my brothers aren't there, they're always texting and watching games online. They work their schedules around my games. It's awesome to have that support."

Athletics isn't the only thing for the Coffey family.

"It's a big part but not the only part," said Lorene, who also had her sons take piano lessons for 5 years apiece. "We value other aspects like church activities. Our faith has always been a core value for us. All of the boys have gone on mission trips to places like Ecuador, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We've gone to Africa as a family two times. It's realizing there's a bigger world out there."

Nevertheless, Batavia has served as the ideal home for the Coffey family.

"We feel a great sense of community and support here," said Lorene. "The atmosphere has been great."

"It's an awesome place to play," said Canaan, who has led the Bulldogs to a share of the Upstate Eight Conference River Division boys basketball titles. "I'll never forget walking in the back hallway moments before the drum line walked us out for Friday night football games. And I won't ever forget our basketball intros."

No matter how long their postseason basketball run lasts, the end is coming.

"I've loved going through this journey with the boys," said Lorene. "It has brought a lot of fun to our lives."

"To sum it up in one word, I'd say, 'grateful,' " said Brian.

You can reach Craig Brueske at csb4k@hotmail.com

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