The best of the best

Athletes of the year Griffie Loy from Bishop England and Dekeiya Cohen from West Ashley photographed Wednesday May 29, 2013. (Grace Beahm/

Dekeiya Cohen is an athlete for all the seasons.

In the fall, she played volleyball for West Ashley High School and earned all-state honors. In the winter, she played basketball for the Wildcats and earned all-state honors. This spring, she competed in track and field, and finished fifth in the state in the long jump, and was a member of the 4x100-meter relay team that finished sixth.

In the summer?

Cohen, who is only a junior, plays AAU basketball for the Georgia Metros, one of the top teams in the Southeast. Cohen is one of the top players in the region and has narrowed down her college list to six teams: the University of South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Louisville and Miami.

The talented Cohen is The Post and Courier’s 2013 female athlete of the year.

Bishop England’s Griffie Loy, a two-time all-state selection in football and one of the top discus throwers in the country, is the male athlete of the year.

Cohen keeps busy and knows how to balance her time.

“I just concentrate when I’m in class and block everything else out,” she said. “I try to enjoy my weekends if I can. Academics are important to me. I want to play professional basketball, but I have to have something to fall back on if I don’t make it.”

Cohen makes A’s and B’s taking mostly honors classes, and her parents insisted that academics come before basketball. Her father (Keith Cohen) and mother (Deborah Williams) both excelled in sports at St. John’s High School and instilled the importance of academic success in their daughter.

Cohen has been the complete player since she joined Maria William’s team at West Ashley.

She was a second-team All-Lowcountry selection as a freshman when she averaged 17.8 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. She’s been first team All-Lowcountry the past two seasons, averaging 23.7 points and 13.3 rebounds as a sophomore and 26.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game as a junior.

“She lives and breathes basketball,” coach Williams said. “She could live and breathe basketball for 24/7. But right now, it’s 24/6.”

Loy, a 5-11, 220-pounder who graduated from Bishop England earlier this month, has been all-state for two years in football and track and field. He helped lead the Bishops to their second state title in football last fall as a fullback and defensive end. He rushed for 642 yards and scored 11 touchdowns while recording 77 tackles on defense. He logged 28 tackles for a loss and eight sacks, while recording three fumbles.

He recently was named the Gatorade state track and field performer of the year after a memorable spring.

Loy repeated as the state champ in the discus with a throw that traveled 196 feet, six inches to break the state record by 111/2 feet. His effort was the ninth best in the country this spring.

His shot put wasn’t a record, but was still impressive. He had an effort of 57-1, which was more than two feet farther than any competitor at the state meet. His best shot put this spring was 60-111/2, which ranked No. 31 nationally.

Loy had a weighted 4.35 GPA and will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

He has the respect of coaches from around the area.

“Griffie is a great young man and made himself into the thrower he is,” said Hanahan coach David Pratt. “He is not very tall but is very committed to the weight room. He is very powerful and has great technique. He just got dedicated and loves the sport.”

Loy said he is fortunate to attend Navy.

“My grandfather, Mike Loy, was a captain in the Navy,” Loy said. “I don’t have superior grades, but my extracurricular activities helped. I think my leadership ability helped.”