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Brandon Student Honored with ‘Athlete of the Week’ Award for Displaying Selflessness and Determination

By May 10, 2019June 4th, 2019Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl. – May 10, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is pleased to announce McKenzie Dennis from Brandon High School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week ending May 10th, 2019.

Dennis, a senior leader for the Brandon cheerleading squad, was nominated by head coach Michella Burney for her selfless attitude and dedication to her team.

“McKenzie is a head cheer captain,” Burney said. “She has led her team for two consecutive years. She is very talented. This shows not only in cheer but academically as well as she holds a 3.8 GPA. She loves to serve her community and the others around her.”

Always seeking new accomplishments, Dennis sets many goals for herself and does everything in her power to achieve them.

“During the cheer season, my goals included making it to states, gaining new tumbling skills and being a motivational captain,” Dennis said. “Now that flag football has started, I want to win states while staying positive and in shape throughout the long season.”

As an already established gymnast and an avid thrill seeker, Dennis says that she loves getting others to be the best that they can be.

“What motivated me to get started was my background in gymnastics,” Dennis said. “I wanted to be involved in high school. I love being active and encouraging people to be better, so being captain of the cheerleading team for two years in a row helped me with doing so. I started cheer my freshman year and then started flag football as a senior to try new things.”

Dennis wants other athletes to know that times may get tough and situations might seem uncertain. However, one must keep believing in themselves and never give up.

“One thing I learned when I ended my last cheer season early due to injury was that you can’t take a practice or moment for granted,” Dennis said. “You never know when it could be taken away. Another thing I learned was that just because I was on the sideline for the last couple competitions, the team still looked up to me as if I was on the mat with them. Being encouraging on the mat is just as important as when you’re off the mat. Stick it out. Do what you have to do. Be supportive through it all.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Athlete of the Week campaign is designed to focus on student-athletes, recognizing them for their hard work and dedication both on and off the field. The Athlete of the Week award can be earned by displaying one of the following characteristics:

Team Player: Athletes who are nominated for excellence in team play are chosen by a coach who feels the athlete does his or her best to put direction into action, makes a significant contribution to the team and continuously works to improve his or her skills, attitude and training.

Leadership: Athletes who earn the award in recognition of excellent leadership must exemplify strong relationship building skills, show excellent initiative and serve as role models for his or her peers. To view last week’s award winners, please follow this link.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, spine and chiropractic services, among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopaedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 9 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: and ‘like’ us on Facebook: