The Vandalia Leader

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Van-Far Athlete of the Week

Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 11:53 pm

By Brandie Gay

McKenna Eng-Hoffman is a decorated student and athlete at Van-Far High School. Student participation in sports is a major decision and a commitment for young athletes. There are research findings regarding the benefits and outcomes of involvement in sports. On the other hand, researchers took notice that academics and sport participation as a possible legacy has become an increasingly popular line of inquiry and is linked with general well-being and improved decision making and cognitive abilities of the student-athletes. The overall importance placed on an athlete’s academic eligibility can be extremely stressful for both the coach and the student-athlete. In order to compete, the athlete must remain academically eligible. This not a problem with Eng-Hoffman she is currently the valedictorian of her class, in the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars and A+. Another academic group Eng-Hoffman participates in is Quiz Bowl where she placed third in state.

Athletes are accountable to almost everybody in the school because they are expected to perform at their best all the time. The student-athletes are expected to attend to various responsibilities at one point in time. They are supposed to assume despite multiple roles, many students still aspire to be part of athletic activities by joining an individual, dual or a team sports that gives them enjoyment, freedom, and independence, to make friends and meet new people chance to start building the future sport they’ve always dreamed about and one of the best ways to make the most of their time in school. Eng-Hoffman has participated in many activities in her four years at Van-Far. The Van-Far Speech & Drama team participated in the EMO Conference last week and Eng-Hoffman placed first in Poetry, first in Prose, and third in Radio.  As far as academics, Eng-Hoffman excels. In sports however, she did have a setback last year while competing in the district track meet at Putnam County on May, 2023 in the 100m hurdles. Eng-Hoffman tore her ACL and Meniscus in her right knee. After surgery and five months of physical therapy, Eng-Hoffman was released. Unfortunately, Eng-Hoffman missed her senior year of softball and most of her basketball season. Currently, Eng-Hoffman is participating in the second half of basketball and will be running track come spring.

Coach Heather Minter commented, “It has been fun coaching and watching Kenna grow over the four years. With her knee injury it set her back some, but she did not let that stop her. Kenna works hard, is a very physical kid, a great teammate that is ALWAYS bringing positive vibes and energy to the team.”

This spring Eng-Hoffman will run the 100m hurdles, the long jump, and triple jump and runs many relays to keep her going. Eng-Hoffman has signed to Columbia College where she will compete on the track team. Other activities Eng-Hoffman participates in is FFA, FCA, Student Council and is the drum major in the Van-Far Band.  Outside of school, Eng-Hoffman is active in her church. She attends First Christian Church.

First Christian Church pastor James Franke commented, “McKenna has been actively involved in various ways with First Christian Church since childhood.  Most recently she has helped with our Children’s Church program.  In past years she has participated in the youth activities of the church and has helped out where needed.  We are proud of her and very thankful for her.”

Congratulation McKenna Eng-Hoffman on a very successful four years at Van-Far High School.