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Sports briefs: June 24

Westminster names Ten Pillars awardees

Westminister’s Benny Anderson [Source: Westminster Christian Academy]

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.

• Christian character: God-honoring behavior, good sportsmanship, and abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

• Good grades and conduct.

• “We before me.” 

• We will run the race to win: competing at the highest possible level is the goal.

• We are in this together.

• Commitments are paramount: showing up and honoring your word is the norm.

• Grow and improve in and out of season.

• We all share Wildcat pride.

• Positive attitudes.

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.

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

Youth tennis

Lafayette High tennis player Maya Martin [Source: Maya Martin]

Maya Martin, a rising junior at Lafayette, has made it her mission to share her love of the sport with children in her community. “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 award recognizes 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.”

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