At the end of every school year, in the 2nd week of May, the Royal Booster Association hosts an awards banquet in which we get to honor and recognize many people for their commitment to TFA Athletics. We mainly celebrate the excellence of athletes, but part of the night is dedicated to honoring a special group of people earning some of our most prestigious awards including Royal Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, Kroy and Kelley Lifetime Service Award, and Scholar Athletes.
In case you were not able to attend this year’s banquet, or you just want to re-live Thursday night’s special awards, we have included the winners of the aforementioned categories below for you. We hope you enjoyed the ceremony this year, and thank you for your support of TFA Athletics. Go Royals!
Abby has been a member of the Lady Royals Softball team for 6 years and has led her team in the circle each of the last 4 years. Abby is a member of the wounded warriors club, national honor society, a royal scholar, and served as FCA president this year. On the field, Abby led the softball team to two district championships, earned 4A 1st team All State and has received a softball award each of her 4 years in high school. Additionally, she had an on base percentage of over 500 as well as a 1.8 earned run average in 117 innings on the mound. Abby’s leadership stretched far beyond the field and was seen in many areas during her time at TFA and she represents what it means to be a Royal.
Caroline has been a member of the Lady Royals Track and Field and Cross Country teams for 5 years and is a 12 time district champion. She holds school records in the 1500 meter run, the 1600 meter run, the 3200 meter run, the 2000 meter steeplechase, as well as the cross country 5k. Caroline is a member of the wounded warrior club, national honor society, and national art honor society. In addition, she is a Royal scholar, earned the scholar athlete award, and was a senior thesis award finalist. Caroline’s leadership both on and off the track exemplifies all three qualities of what it means to be a Royal Athlete.
Kendrick has been a member of the Royals Baseball team for 4 years and has been a leader both on and off the field in each of those years. Kendrick has been named a Louisville Slugger 1st team All American, FACA District 11 Player of the Year, FACA All Star, and won a Gold Medal on the USA 15 and under National team. Earlier tonight, Kendrick won the Most Valuable Player award for the 2nd year in a row. Off the field, Kendrick is a Royal Scholar, and a member of the National Honor Society as well as FCA. On the field, Kendrick hit 424 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI’s. Kendrick will be continuing his Baseball career at The University of Florida in the Fall.
Ben has been at The First Academy for 14 years, a member of the Varsity Basketball team for 2 years, and a member of the Varsity Volleyball team for 1 year. Ben helped lead the Volleyball team in its inaugural year and was one of the team captains in both Volleyball and Basketball. Off the court, Ben excelled as a leader on campus and in the classroom. He was a member of National Honor Society, FCA, Wounded Warriors Club, the Raw Footage crew, a Royal Scholar, a Scholar athlete, and was our 2018 Homecoming King. Ben represents all three qualities on what it means to be a Royal Athlete.
Coach Bateman led The First Academy girls golf program to a district, regional, and state championship in the 2017 season. The girls team shot 11 under in the State Championship over the course of two days to break the state record by several shots. In addition to his coaching at TFA, Chris is a teaching pro in the local community and has been a coach for over 40 years in Central Florida. Coach Bateman’s heart for each player within his program is evident and his commitment to his athletes goes far beyond the course.
Coach Benz has served the department of Athletics for over a decade. His roles have included substitute teacher, math tutor, and assistant coach with both our Cross Country and Track and Field programs. Before his time at TFA, Coach Benz ran at West Point before serving our country in the United States Army. Soon after, he taught math and began his coaching career. Coach Benz has served as a coach in the Orlando area for over 50 years and has been at TFA for the last 11. Each year, there is a cross country jamboree run in the Orlando area known as The Ted Benz Invitational to honor him. One person described Coach Benz as “a saint” and a man that will do anything for anyone, just as Jesus would.
The Department of Athletics embraces the philosophy of participating in extracurricular activities as a means of enhancement of the educational experience. As encouraged by our school’s mission statement and participation being a way of life for our students, we have created an award to honor those who have excelled both on the field and in the classroom. With the rigors of playing sports and balancing a heavy academic workload, we have always encouraged our student-athletes to play multiple sports and use those lessons to be better prepared for life. The Royal Scholar Athlete Award was created to recognize student-athletes who participated in multiple sports and excelled in the classroom by maintaining a rigorous academic workload. This award goes to one male and female from each grade that had the highest weighted GPA and participated in at least two varsity sports at The First Academy during the school year.
Representing the Freshmen Class – Katie B. and Joshua H.
Representing the Sophomore Class – Anabel Z. and Justin H.
Representing the Junior Class – Abigail F. and Andrew M.
Representing the Senior Class – Hannah B. and Ben R.
Congratulations again to all of our winners! It was a great year in TFA Athletics!