It is an honor to nominate senior scholar athlete Benjamin Teves for the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award for 2020. Ben boasts a 3.59 GPA, is a multi-sport athlete and was recently named “Homecoming King,” at Mt. Hope High School. The significance of being chosen by his peers to “Reign” over the traditions of his school during spirit week is honorable and appropriate as he truly loves being a Husky.
Eight years ago when I began working in Bristol Warren Schools, Ben was just 10 and always at his Dads side helping and watching varsity wrestling practice. Ben was the ultimate fan, high-fiving all those who rounded the corner during the team (hallway) run. Ben has since transitioned into one of the most courageous athletes, I have ever met. He has a heart of gold and would do anything for his teammates, coaches and classmates.
Ben is at every practice eager to get his time on the mat. He is the son of a decorated athlete and wrestling coach, the proud brother of a decorated wrestler and one of five siblings. Wrestling you could say is a family tradition. Ben will graduate this year from Mt. Hope being one of the only young men who can say he had an undefeated wrestling career. He will also have the distinction of making it into the 100 win club. Each match Mt. Hope enters starts with JV matches and then a very special exhibition, “Ben’s Match.” This nomination is for Ben and all the boys who have agreed on one of these standing ovation matches. Ben is strong, when he wrestles he likes to entertain the crowd and then celebrate his win as though it is his first. Ben also has downs syndrome, but it does not slow him down, instead it enhances his spirit! The boys on his team make sure Ben is ready to go when it’s his turn. His coach describes Ben as “very charismatic and fun a grappler who helps keeps the room light during practice. Ben reads people's emotions well, and gravitates towards those who can use a pick-me up, Ben is a great asset to the team."
Special Education teacher and coach Sue Carlson describes Ben in the classroom: “Ben keeps his bond once he had made one and is a very caring kid. He has a good heart and thinks of others, sometimes even before himself. Always sharing and always caring. Ben is the model for a Unified School, he is seamless in every way. Ben always gives you the best of who is and what he brings to the table. He is loyal and trusting, a very good friend to all.”
Mike Teves a special educator in the building and proud father of Ben describes his aspirations for Ben as “ being independent and as much like his peers as he can be.” Ben has great friends from school and who have helped make this possible. They treat him like everyone else, call him up and take him to hang out for the day.
With RIIL naming Ben the Spirit of Sport Winner for Rhode Island he now moves on to the National Federation for High School Sports National competition.