Ravenwood's Hastings, Brentwood's Hoff named John Maher Scholar Athletes
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
Ravenwood High School’s Tinsley Hastings and Brentwood High School’s Eric Hoff have been named this month’s recipients of the John Maher Scholar Athlete award.
Hastings, daughter of Emily Hastings, is a four-year member of the Lady Raptors tennis team that has won three consecutive Class AAA state titles.
Now a team captain, Hastings looks to guide the squad to a fourth championship in the coming weeks.
“She’s been a great team leader for us for years now,” Ravenwood coach Robbie McCammon said. “It’s her fourth year and she has a chance to win her fourth state championship, which I don’t know many people who can say they’ve done that.”
Ravenwood has showed little struggle winning those titles at the TSSAA Spring Fling, defeating Dobyns Bennett 4-0 in 2012, White Station 4-1 in 2011, and White Station again in 2010 by a 4-2 score.
The coach praised Hastings for her work ethic and mindset in all things she does.
“With her it’s all about attitude,” he said. “She’s just enthusiastic no matter what she’s asked to do.”
Hastings stays even busier off the tennis court, volunteering with the United Way, Senior Olympics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Project Poverty. Even more, she is Ravenwood’s senior class president and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.
“She balances it well,” said McCammon. “That’s a perfect word for her. She does church and community projects, she’s a great student, and a very good tennis player.”
Hoff, son of Steve and Cathy Hoff, is a four-year member of the Brentwood track and field team that has won three consecutive Class AAA championships.
Despite his key role in each of those titles, Bruins coach Ronnie Seigenthaler calls Hoff one of the least publicized athletes in the area – simply because he does not seek the limelight.
“He goes about his practices and he goes about his performances with a true professionalism, on the high school level, that’s basically unheard of,” Seigenthaler said. “It’s all about being a technician and constantly trying to improve the movements.”
Hoff finished second in the Class AAA decathlon in 2011 and third in 2012 as a miscue in the long jump cost him points. His coached praised him as a true athlete and competitor though as he turned around less than 48 hours later and won an individual state title in the pole vault.
Off the track, Hoff is a licensed private pilot and is working on his instrument rating. He volunteers as the sound and lights technician at his church and also as a math tutor through Brentwood’s Mu Alpha Theta.
“He’s a servant by nature and a scholar athlete as well,” said Seigenthaler. “He has a plan and a vision and he doesn’t deviate from that.”
Hoff will run track for the United State Air Force Academy and work towards earning a degree in engineering. He is currently maintaining a 4.3 GPA in the classroom.
Having undergone surgery May 6 for a fractured bone in his left foot, Hoff will not be able to compete in this year’s Spring Fling. That will not stop the senior from contributing that week though as he has proved to be a leader on the team for years.
“He leads by example,” Seigenthaler said. “When he leads verbally it’s done in a quiet confidence. It’s not a loud, boisterous leadership where people could confuse it for him just wanting to be heard. When he speaks, his pears usually listen.”
The John Maher Scholar Athlete of the Month Award, given by John Maher Builders and the Williamson Herald, is decided by a four-person panel that makes their decision based on GPA, leadership qualities, community service, athletic competition, and a written essay by the student-athlete’s nominator.
Each recipient is invited to the annual scholar-athlete banquet, being held May 30 at First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, where one male and one female winner will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship. The athletes must be present at the banquet to be eligible.
Posted on: 5/8/2013