Overcoming Tragedy, Windsor Football Star Announces Plans to Play at CCSU

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National Letter of Intent signing day for future college football players typically happens in February. Windsor High School’s Zander McCoy had to wait a little longer.

The senior planned to sign to play at Central Connecticut State University but when the terms of his financial aid weren’t ironed out in time for February, he made the hard decision for an athlete who has dreamt of playing Division I football to wait.

But while he was waiting out the uncertainty, his family was hit with unimaginable loss. McCoy’s older sister Allison, also a Windsor grad, was shot and killed in Hartford.

The plans to announce his future football intentions quickly fell to the back burner, but thanks to patience from CCSU and their football staff, McCoy finally got his moment to commit. Barely a month since his sister’s murder and his missed signing day, McCoy celebrated with his team and family, announcing his plan to play at CCSU next fall.

“Thank you for sticking around, keeping my head up, making me keep going every day,” McCoy said to the group in the Windsor auditorium.

“Just felt like a once in a lifetime moment that I could just look at this memory forever,” said McCoy.

McCoy sat next to his mom, sister, and girlfriend and wore a pendant with his late grandmother’s picture. It was given to him by his late sister, Allison.

“It's bittersweet but I know she's smiling down,” said McCoy’s mom Stephanie Howard. “She's happy to see that he didn't allow what happened to her stop him from doing what is best for him going forward.”

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