Christ Church Episcopal School celebrated the successes of two senior student-athletes yesterday, February 1, during a signing ceremony. Family, teammates, coaches, and school officials gathered in Rooke Theater to watch BJ Atkins and Amelia Turner sign their letters of intent. BJ Atkins will be playing football at the United State Military Academy in West Point, New York and Amelia Turner will be joining the equestrian team at the University of Tennessee, Martin in Martin, Tennessee.
Director of Athletics, Molly Miller, thanked family, coaches, administration, teachers, friends, and teammates, acknowledging all the support they have provided and their roles in shaping each of these seniors into the students, athletes, and people they are today. She specifically thanked Head of School, David Padilla, the Senior Leadership team, division directors, and assistant directors for all they have done to support the athletic department at CCES, recognizing the important role athletics can play in the development of students. Miller also thanked the phenomenal CCES College Counseling team, the Performing Arts Technical team, and the CCES Booster Club for all they do to support these student-athletes and to make these signing days possible. She noted that this signing day is the first where all athletes are also state champions, before expanding on each of the students, sharing thoughts and reflections from their teachers and coaches.
Teachers describe BJ Atkins as kind, charismatic, and thoughtful. He is an “engaging” student, both personable and enthusiastic in the classroom. They share that BJ is a “student who brings positive energy” and has the innate ability to “develop great rapport with all his teachers.”
Varsity Football Head Coach, Quin Hatfield, describes BJ as a “competitor” who is both “committed to excellence” and has “the gift of connecting with others.” Hatfield can list countless ways BJ impacted the Cavalier football program, from the clutch moments in big games to making everyone around him better in practices. He says, “BJ will leave a legacy of captain, champion, one of the all-time leading receivers and arguably one of the best two-way players to ever wear the CCES uniform.” In closing, Coach Hatfield says, “I’m most proud of BJ for having the courage to choose a different path - one of duty, honor, and country. I’m confident he will impact the United State Military with the same type of presence and influence he’s had on Cavalier Football.”
Amelia Turner is described by her teachers as mature, disciplined, and goal-oriented. They share that she accepts any and all challenges in the classroom with “grit and grace.” They are quick to note her “competitive spirit, strong work ethic, ambition, and generosity” as she navigates her school work.
Amelia’s trainer, Lee Cone, describes the art of Equestrian Sports as one that requires “years of development and thousands of hours” in learning team communication - that between horse and human. Lee describes Amelia’s maturity in overcoming adversity, her dedication to achieving her goals, her ability to consistently challenge herself, and her willingness to learn - both from her mistakes and through her trainer’s feedback. He says, “I have coached thousands of riders in my career, but the quality that sets Amelia apart is her quiet level of focus, coupled with a drive to ride competitively at a Division I level.”
Congratulations to BJ and Amelia for all of their accomplishments on the football field and in the riding arena! We look forward to all the things to come in these next chapters and CCES will always be cheering you! Go Cavs!
For more photos from the ceremony, please click here