Coach McCrystal Named Union County Coach of the Year

Coach McCrystal Named Union County Coach of the Year

Addison Drone, Staff Writer

After having one of their best seasons on record, there is plenty of excitement about OPXC. With a large number of runners returning for next year, the team is looking for continued success. And with the presence of a great coaching staff, the team will continue to push and compete.

The rise of OP cross country was noteworthy throughout the season. After many races, the officials said how exceptional the team was running, specifically after wins at Conferences, CTCs, and the Greystone Invitational. Also, in the highly competitive meets such as Counties and States, the team had great times, keeping up with the competition.

The team’s overall performance and attitude spurred Mr. McCrystal to receive the great honor of being named Union County Coach of the Year by He truly inspires us and brings out the best of us, whether in be in running or in being OP men. To recognize his achievement, I asked a few members of the team to share some thoughts about coach.

Brendan Mooney: Coach McCrystal has played an important role in my development throughout high school. I do not believe that I would be the person I am today without his mentorship.

Adam Lewis: Since my freshmen year, Coach McCrystal has built an already successful OPXC program to a future powerhouse. He is the almighty GOAT and is deserving of this recognition in every conceivable way. Bless up Bolt.

Jake Noss: Mr. McCrystal is a great role model for the team and always lives by what he teaches. He has pushed me to do better than I ever thought I could, and he is one of the main reasons I have stuck with cross country.

Eric Rhines: Coach kept us motivated throughout the year while keeping it fun. He helped us reach new personal bests and new team bests.  We wouldn’t be the team we were without coach’s guidance.

Fernando Aviles: Coach really pushes you to perform to the highest level you can, but, at the same time, he realizes that being a coach involves more than just bossing us around and giving us training plans. He makes it obvious that he cares about us and the success of the team. He turns a sport that focuses a lot on your individual performance into a team based event, where the team becomes more than just a group of kids who run after school. We all learn to motivate one another, and even the competition within the team is friendly. Coach has created an environment where we all thrive to the best of our abilities, and I know we are all thankful for the commitment he makes to not just the team, but us as individuals.

Casey McKee: I had always believed Cross country was an individual sport when I arrived at Oratory. Since meeting coach, he has stressed how we are all one, and I think it is that teaching that has progressed my running so much after two seasons here at OP.  

Mr. McCrystal has influenced so many at OP as a moderator of many clubs around school and as a teacher of freshman world history. No matter how you know him, he has left a positive influence, but it seems even more defined when he coaches cross country. Spending almost three months running daily can seem demoralizing, but Mr. McCrystal is not only able to keep the team motivated but is also able to push us to our greatest potentials. He takes pride in the cross country team, putting together a thorough workout plan and setting goals that are not only ambitious but also achievable with the hard word he demands. He pushes us, and he wants us to push one another. As a result, cross country is one of the most closely knit teams at the school and has been able to push each other to the successes they have achieved this past season.