WENTWORTH —Recently graduated Rockingham County senior Tayte Beeninga will certainly be remembered for her stellar play on the soccer field, but teachers and fellow students are probably just as proud for her accomplishments in the classroom.
Beeninga recently received the 2019 Gildan Scholar Athletes of the Year Award as well as the RCHS Principals Leadership Award.
Sponsored by Gildan Activewear, the award is given to one male and one female Rockingham County Schools’ senior that has played at least two sports in his or her junior and senior year. Recipients are required to make All-Conference twice during their junior and or senior year while maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA.
“It’s incredible to think that my teachers and peers, the administration and coaches, think so highly of me. It’s really just an honor for me to be able to represent my school in the classroom and on the field,” Beeninga said.
A three-year starter as a midfielder for the Lady Cougars, Beeninga was the team’s leading scorer netting 20 goals and dishing out 11 assists during her senior campaign.
In the classroom she ended up closing out her high school academic career with a stellar 4.375 GPA while taking a challenging load that included several AP courses.
Rockingham head soccer coach Timothy Buck said that knowledge and understanding she displayed in the classroom was evident on the field as well.
“Tayte’s soccer I.Q. is extremely high. She knows where she wants to go with the ball before she gets it. She’s one or two steps ahead of the other team on every play which makes her very valuable, plus she is a natural born leader and she just helps dictate the team’s direction.”
Beeninga was a key leader on the team that finished 12-7 overall and earned a trip to the 2019 3A NCHSAA state playoffs. She was a two-time All-Conference selection and a two-time All-Region award winner as well. In addition, she was both an All-State and Mid-State 3A Conference Player of the Year in 2018.
“She’s like a point guard on a basketball team. She plays center mid and plays up and back. She controls the tempo of the game and is very valuable on both offense and defense,” said Buck.
Beeninga said juggling so many responsibilities as a team captain as well as a student is just a matter of finding the proper balance.
“It’s hard. Sometimes you have to stay up really late or get up really early to finish things. Often I’d have to stay after school to get some study help and sometimes you have to stay after practice so it takes a lot of time and effort, but you just have to find a way to make it work as you go,” she said.
Beeninga will continue her education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro later this fall to pursue a degree in nursing and is currently talking with the Lady Spartans coaches to pursue a potential walk-on spot on the roster. She says if the walk-on situation doesn’t pan out, she will play club soccer at the next level.