By Jill Fox
It was not the semi-formal, catered event they’re accustomed to, however, the coaching staff didn’t want to miss recognizing the successful athletes at Westglades Middle School.
“I’m not the most technical, but we did our best,” said athletic director P.J. Battaglia, who organized a virtual banquet and awards presentation with coaches from each sport — golf, cross country, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, flag football, track and field, and lacrosse.
In their sixth annual banquet, and the first virtual one, Battaglia spoke about how academics come first, but Westglades also has a robust athletic program.
“We have incredible student-athletes who are also doing well in the classroom,” he said, “It’s amazing how lucky and fortunate we are.”
Typically at the annual event, each team has its turn on the stage where the coach will speak about the athletes. In the virtual scenario, the coaches talked over PowerPoint slides showcasing the players’ achievements.
The scholar-athlete of the year awards were presented to Max Haber and Esther Bang. The athletes of the year were Emma O’Keeffe and Clayton Cannon.
Alise Brown, who coaches cross country and cheerleading, received the Fernanda Johnson Coach of the Year Award.
Battaglia said the athletics program is fantastic, and every team finished in at least third place or better in their divisions this year.
Two female athletes were the winners of a $1,000 MSD Scholarship— Emily Cashion, who will play basketball at Johnson & Wales University, and Rachel Fishkin, who will play soccer at the University of North Florida.
Both women played at Westglades and continued at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The presentation also included a lifetime achievement award presented to Coach Michael Bobby for his 18 years of dedication and service to Westglades Athletics.
Battaglia said it was another amazing year at Westglades, where it’s not just about winning.
“We’re keeping with the tradition of having strong teams with good sportsmanship and improvement.”
Watch the Westglades Middle School Athletics Virtual Banquet and Awards Presentation online now.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Advertising from the University of Miami. During college, Fox enjoyed working at Walt Disney World. She loves living in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 10 and Randi, 7.