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Westminster names Ten Pillars awardees

Bennie Anderson Jr. and Katie Hobaugh are the Ten Pillars recipients this year at Westminster Christian Academy.

According to Athletic Director Cory Snyder, the award winners are determined by a committee that includes administrators, teachers and students. The award is given to one senior male and female athlete each year “who have demonstrated above and beyond the dedication and exemplification of the Ten Pillars.”

The Ten Pillars at Westminster are:

  • Honor Jesus Christ in all things: He is the most important measure of our success.
  • Christian character defines who we are: God-honoring behavior, good sportsmanship, and abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is required.
  • Good grades and conduct lead the way: successful athletes must be successful students.
  • “We before me.” What is best for the team always comes first.
  • We will run the race to win: competing at the highest possible level is the goal.
  • We are in this together: student-athletes, coaches, and parents are all on the same page.
  • Commitments are paramount: showing up and honoring your word is the norm.
  • We will grow and improve in and out of season: getting better demands hard work.
  • Supporting other players and teams is expected: we all share Wildcat pride.
  • Positive attitudes will influence outcomes: passion, enthusiasm, and energy will drive us.
Benny Anderson on the football field
Benny Anderson is one of two recipients of the 2020 Ten Pillars Award at Westminster Christian Academy.

Anderson played football and basketball and competed in track and field for the Wildcats. A 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman, he will attend Yale and play football. His father, Bennie Anderson Sr. had a six-year career in the National Football League. He spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens at right guard.

Hobaugh played softball and lacrosse for the Wildcats. Last fall, she hit .429 with eight doubles and one home run. Her senior lacrosse season was wiped out due to COVID-19. As a junior, she scored 28 goals and recorded nine assists.

Katie Hobaugh [blue uniform]

“It’s a really cool honor to win this award,” Snyder said. “It’s the highest athletic department honor that we give. I couldn’t think of two better individuals to win this award.”

Youth tennis

Maya Martin, who will be junior this fall at Lafayette, has made it her mission to share her love of the sport with children in her community. She carries out this mission as a United States Tennis Association [USTA] Net Generation Ambassador.

Lafayette High tennis player Maya Martin

“This sport has given me so much, and I’ve had so much fun with it,” said Martin, who has been playing tennis for nearly a decade. “If another kid can experience that, I definitely want to expose them to that.”

Martin, an accomplished player for the Lancers and in USTA junior tournaments, spreads her love of tennis by traveling the country for events and speaking engagements and through her active Instagram account.

The USTA Missouri Valley, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, recently named Martin one of its 100 Gold Star award winners. The awards recognize contributions in supporting and growing the game of tennis. She is one of two Gold Star winners in the St. Louis district.

“It’s such an honor to be in the same category with these amazing people in Missouri Valley who do so much for junior tennis,” Martin said.

Although COVID-19 restrictions make it more difficult than usual, Martin is still practicing and training. She was planning to host a kids’ fun day in April, with equipment and coaching provided for participants, but that was tabled for the near future. In the meantime, she has launched a video podcast called “Break Point” on her Instagram page. In it, she interviews professional tennis players about their time on the junior circuit.

Her first episode, which posted May 27, features American player Frances Tiafoe, who has been ranked as high as No. 29 in the world. Martin plans to post an episode once a month before eventually moving to once every two weeks.

“It’s a whole new take on a tennis interview,” Martin said. “I’ve always looked to professional players to figure out what they did in juniors to make them successful. These are the people I’ve looked up to for so long. Being able to have a true, genuine conversation with them about what they’ve gone through and how it may help other juniors is so cool.”

Hockey

CBC graduate Jack Caruso, 20, has committed to play hockey for the University of Denver Pioneers.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound goalie played with the Fairbank Ice Dogs and the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League [NAHL] this past season.

Caruso was named MVP of the 2017 Mid-States Challenge Cup after helping the Cadets win their fourth successive title, a school record, and their 12th title in the last 17 years. In the championship game against St. Louis University High, the junior stopped 20 of 21 shots in a 4-1 victory. Caruso finished the 2016-17 season with a 16-3 record, a 2.37 goals-against average [45-minute games] and a .895 save percentage. As a sophomore, Caruso compiled a 23-1 mark with a 1.47 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.

In his four seasons with the Cadets, Caruso led CBC to three state titles and finished with a 52-5-2 overall record. Caruso also played for the Chesterfield Falcons U18 team as well as the CarShield AAA U18 teams while in high school.

Youth soccer

Sporting St. Louis has announced Mike Ambersley as the newest member of its coaching team. His primary focus will be on youth soccer development.

Ambersley is one of the most successful players to come out of St. Louis. His success started in high school at De Smet Jesuit, where he became a National Soccer Coaches Association of America [NSCAA] and Parade All-American. He was also named Missouri State Player of the Year in 2000.

He moved on to Indiana University where he won back to back NCAA Championships in 2003 and 2004. After his exceptional college career, he was drafted in 2006 by FC Dallas of Major League Soccer [MLS]. In 2012 while playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League [NASL] Ambersely won a championship and was named to the NASL Best XI Team. Mike also was the first member of St. Louis FC before retiring from professional soccer in 2017.

Ambersley will bring his years of knowledge to continue to improve Sporting St. Louis Soccer Club. He is expected to be a major contributor of the development of the young players.

SportingSTL is a youth soccer club located in St. Louis. It is an affiliate of Sporting KC of the MLS.

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