Avery Flatford is all about winning: on the softball field as one of Farragut Middle School’s top pitchers, in the classroom as an FMS Honor Roll student, as a locally recognized artist — and in dealing with extreme adversity.
Battling cystic fibrosis as a 13-year old student/athlete, Avery’s focus has become nationwide.
She needs your votes to earn a prestigious national honor.
One of 17 candidates nationwide who are beating back the effects of cystic fibrosis through personal accomplishments, Avery’s goal is to become Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Team Boomer Athlete of the Year.
“She is the first Tennessean and first softball player ever acknowledged by the Boomer Esiason Foundation,” said Chuck Flatford, Avery’s father and her head coach on the FMS team.
“I would be so honored to get the award, but my main goal for this is to spread awareness for this disease,” Avery said. “It would be an honor to share my story even more. To inspire others with the same disease I have.”
“Avery was nominated and selected and was awarded as Boomer Esiason Athlete of the Month [nationwide] for the month of January through her accomplishments: through softball while persevering with cystic fibrosis,” Chuck said. “… We’re really proud of her for putting herself out there to be the face to help bring awareness to cystic fibrosis.”
Among the opportunities the Team Boomer winner earns is a trip to New York City “to do promotional videos for Boomer Esiason Foundation,” Chuck said.
To vote for Avery between now and the voting deadline of Tuesday, June 6, go to: http://woobox.com/dfn3xn/iy2f17
Winner will be announced Wednesday, June 7.
The Team Boomer honor is “a national voting contest through Facebook. … It’s between her and 16 others with cystic fibrosis in various other sports” with an age range from elementary school level “all the way up to young adults,” Chuck said. “Whoever receives the most votes will become Boomer Esiason Athlete of the Year.”
While having played basketball, “I decided softball is my main sport and I just grew off of that,” Avery said.
A rising eighth-grader at FMS, “She had multiple no-hitters last year and multiple saves,” Chuck said.
Looking ahead, “I do plan to play softball at Farragut High School,” Avery said.
“And she’s been recognized numerous times through the Town of Farragut for her artistic work,” Chuck added.
As for those supporting Avery’s quest to get votes dating back to mid-May, “My parents and family members and friends have been doing all this work to get me votes,” Avery said in specific reference, in addition to Chuck, to her mother, Lynsey, and younger brother, Rhett, 12. “It means a lot. It’s really time consuming.”
Looking at “getting out the vote” numbers as of Thursday afternoon, June 1, “It’s escalated to around 30,000 votes,” Chuck said. “It’s great to see the tremendous support system, not only through the softball community, but the Town of Farragut, the Knoxville community, the entire state of Tennessee.”
However, “It’s a daily grind for her to get in front of cameras and media to be able to bring awareness about cystic fibrosis,” he added.
As for someone Avery looks up to, “Maddy Moss doesn’t have CF; she plays for The University of Tennessee. I just love her attitude on and off the field. When she’s pitching she’s always upbeat, cheering on her team. Doing everything she needs to do to keep her team up,” Avery said about the Vols’ sophomore pitcher.
Once again, to vote to go: http://woobox.com/dfn3xn/iy2f17