Burr and Burton Academy
Burr and Burton Academy
Giving up has never been an option for this multi-sport athlete who always finds ways to succeed.
Nobody’s perfect. But for Joey McCoy, accepting that reality hasn’t always been easy. As a younger student and athlete, he used to let his fear of failure hold him back. But with the support of teachers and mentors, he’s found ways to push past his anxiety and view any mistakes as opportunities to improve. Persevering and putting in the extra effort when at first, he doesn’t succeed, has paved the way to countless achievements for this three-sport athlete, including leading his football to victory in the Vermont State Championship game, pitching a complete game to beat his baseball team’s biggest rival, and becoming an all-state hockey player. His successes on the field and ice earned him the prestige of being named Top Male Athlete of the Year at the 2019 annual Bennington Banner/Manchester Journal Regional All-Stars Gala.
Joey’s drive extends into the classroom and his community. “I want to be great at what I do and the only way to be great is to go above and beyond,” he says. “When I do poorly on a test, I get right back to it and make sure I do better on the next one.” He maintains a 3.95 GPA while finding time to support other students as a freshman mentor and volunteer for several school and community organizations.
One of Joey’s greatest accomplishments is bringing Unified Basketball to his community. Unified Basketball is a partnership between the Special Olympics Vermont and the Vermont Principals Association that gives students with intellectual disabilities a chance to compete on a varsity team, play in front of their peers, and even earn a letter. Inspired by the opportunity to work with Special Olympians at a National Leadership Conference he attended, Joey spearheaded the effort to launch a team in his school. Joey coaches the team of players and volunteers and says that the first year couldn’t have gone any better. After a player hit a “buzzer beater” shot to win the very first game, the team went on to make the playoffs and a substantial run at a state final appearance. He says that seeing the staff, students, their families, the community come together to support the program has been an incredible experience he will always remember.
“My whole life I have lived by the philosophy—I will not be outworked”
~ Joseph McCoy ~