Beating the odds

Senior Chris McCoy wins Penn Station Athlete of the Month.


photo by Benjamin Ridder

The hustle and bustle of lunch often isolates students to their own worlds, but on November 20, 2017, all eyes were on senior Chris McCoy. McCoy was awarded the inaugural ‘Penn Station Athlete of the Month.’ The pre-recorded presentation of the award will be shown during the pregame and postgame shows of the Blues game on November 21, 2017.


McCoy was born with Scoliosis and Spina Bifida and has never had use of his left ankle, making it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time. These disabilities do not stop McCoy, but add to his uphill battle to the top of his sports: sled hockey and track.


“He’s deserving of this,” athletic director Paul Boschert said. “Chris is a genuine kid who contributes to the school academically, athletically, and socially.”

“He was a natural.” photo was provided by Benjamin Ridder

McCoy has succeeded in many of his endeavors. He took three gold medals during the Missouri State Track Meet his sophomore year and won the 100 meter race his junior year.


“[Chris winning the athlete of the month is] very special,” Blues on-ice reporter Darren Pang said. “This is an example of not having to have all the strengths of other athletes, it’s about what you’ve got in your heart.”


With his dedication to his sports, McCoy has caught the attention of many, including Penn Station. This sandwich shop chooses one high school senior athlete from the Greater St. Louis area every month. They choose athletes who demonstrate excellence in athletics, academics, and good citizenship, according to


“Chris is a good representation of [West] and what we’re looking for in ‘Athlete of the Month,’” Penn Station representative Scott Roberts said. “[Chris has] good skills, [and has] good grades. We want to reward that.”


McCoy was presented this award by Pang, a St. Louis icon and McCoy’ idol. Pang is a St. Louis favorite with his catchphrase “holy jumpin’,” when Blues goalies make an impressive stop. His spot in between the benches makes him a staple to look for during any Blues game. McCoy was on top of the world after being interviewed by his role model.


“It’s pretty surreal,” McCoy said. “He’s been my idol for [the] years [I’ve been] watching Blues games.”


The atmosphere at second lunch was electric as students applauded their peer. Fox Sports Midwest, Penn Station and administrators alike agree that students represented West in a positive fashion.


“Chris said West is the best, and he was right,” Pang said.

Photo provided by Benjamin Ridder


Penn Station will continue to pick winners, but McCoy has been entered into the grand prize, Athlete of the Year, to win a $5,000 scholarship.


“I’m watching Chris and I’m like, ‘He’s not just courageous he’s very thoughtful and he’s very thankful,’ and I think It’s very special to have him as our first inaugural winner,” Pang said. “At the end of [the competition] I hope he wins the scholarship.”