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McKenzie celebrates student-athletes with annual banquet

It was an evening of laughter and tears in equal measure as the faculty and staff of McKenzie School, as well as the surrounding community, paid tribute to its student-athletes during the annual McKenzie Athletic Banquet.

The event, held Tuesday night, was a celebration of more than 90 student-athletes (a sizeable percentage of McKenzie School’s student body), their coaches and their families.

McKenzie principal Miles Brown said that the banquet was only possible thanks to the union of two school organizations.

“The QB Club caters it, but for several years we formed a partnership with the PTA, and the QB Club and the PTA just work so great with each other and I think that their ability to work together is what has made this thing into such a great event for our student-athletes and our community,” Brown said.

Tony Norris, who serves as head coach for the varsity football, girls varsity basketball and varsity baseball teams, has a better understanding than most of the level of talent and character exited the hallowed halls of McKenzie School this year.

“It’s a really good class of seniors,” Norris said. “I’ve been at McKenzie eight years, and I’ve watched them grow from early childhood to young adulthood.  There are good kids leaving in this group, and they’re going to be missed.  It’s going to be a challenge for our student-athletes coming up to be able to carry the torch that they’ve left behind, but it’s one that I feel they’ll be able to carry on. 

“There are a lot of quality kids that are leaving, but with that being said the ones coming behind them are good, hardworking kids that come from good families who will be able to carry that torch.”

Brown added that athletics plays a huge role in the development and success of McKenzie’s students.

“There are just so many traits that our young people can learn from teamwork, learning how to be humble in victory and coping in defeat,” Brown said. “But the biggest thing is the aspect that student-athletes learn how to start with a goal and how to work extremely hard to reach that goal, and how to work together with a group of people to reach that goal.  It prepares them so that they’ve got those skills that will help them be successful, whether its’ in college, the workforce, the military or whatever avenue they venture into after high school.

“When you’re a student-athlete, you’re held to a higher standard in the classroom and in the community.  You’re also asked to summer workouts, extra practices and all of that stuff.  I love the aspect of hard work, and I love that our student-athletes are learning that characteristic at such a young age.  Nobody is going to give you anything; you’ve got to work hard day-in and day-out.”