An amazing All-Resilient Team for 2013

Story by J.C. Newton, Kentucky National Guard Marketing Director

AR Team

The members of the 2013 Tom Leach All-Resilient Team gather for a group photo during an awards banquet in Louisville, Ky., April 25, 2013. (Courtesy photo)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — “On the 2013 All-Resilient Team we have a blind archer, a deaf wrestler, a dwarfed football player, a bowler who couldn’t use her arms, a stroke victim basketball player, and 3 of our team members will be competing at the college level next year in field hockey, football, and wrestling,” said Mackenzie Hanes, Education Liaison for The Kentucky National Guard. “This year is pretty amazing,”

Alicia Kalbfleisch from Mercy Academy was one of only 22 students from across the Commonwealth named to the 2013 Tom Leach All-Resilient Team. Kalbfleisch was recognized for her hard work and determination in overcoming serious foot and leg issues in order to compete as both an equestrian rider and field hockey player.

“Alicia personifies everything this team is about!” said Hanes. “The Guard is a proud partner in this effort because it exemplifies everything a soldier is about. Resiliency, hard work, and persistence are all qualities of a professional soldier.”

More than 200 team members and their families attended the ceremony at the PNC Ballroom at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The banquet was held in conjunction with the State High School Athletic Directors Awards Dinner.

Kalbfleisch

Alicia Kalbfleisch is presented her certificate as part of the 2013 All-Resilient Team by Lt. Col. Fred W. Bates V, commander of 2nd Battalion, 75th Recruiting and Retention during an awards ceremony in Louisville, Ky., April 25, 2013. (Courtesy photo)

“This is such an awesome honor for my child. It’s the culmination of all his hard work and persistence. I am so thankful for Mr. Leach and the National Guard in their efforts to make this occasion one we, as a family, will always treasure.” stated a proud mom.

“A great location, a great meal, and a room full of outstanding young Kentuckians, this was a wonderful evening. Having the opportunity to share these amazing young people’s stories is one of the highlights of my year,” said Tom Leach, the “Voice of the Kentucky Wildcats,” and the creator of the team.

“Alicia is just another example of the type athlete we honor. Not only did she make our team, she has signed to play field hockey at Centre College next fall.”

The formation of the team was a project close to Leach’s heart. As he observed his own son battle kidney issues to play the sport he loved, football. Tom approached The Guard with his idea, and together they formed the team.

This marked the third year for the team. Students across the Commonwealth were nominated by their Athletic Directors. Their nomination is submitted to a committee comprised of Tom Leach’s Office and members of the Kentucky National Guard. The final roster is set, and members of the team submit a highlight video to the Kentucky National Guard for publication on the All-Resilient Team Facebook page.

Follow this year’s team on the All-Resilient Team Facebook page, here.

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