Notable and quotable

Posted Tuesday, May. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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They dedicated their season to their seriously injured and grieving former teammate. But in the end, Lauren Nevil played a key role in helping the sixth-grade Duff Elementary volleyball team win a city championship.

Lauren and her family had moved to Tennessee in July 2011 and were returning to Arlington for a Thanksgiving visit when a suspected drunken driver hit their car on a dark stretch of Interstate 30 near Hope, Ark.

After they heard of the tragedy in mid-November that left Lauren fighting for her life and killed her mother, the Lady Mustangs, who play in the Arlington YMCA league, voted to dedicate the rest of their season to her. Off the court, they wore bracelets inscribed with the phrase “Praying for Lauren”; on it, they sported red ribbons bearing the same sentiment.

They won match after match, closing out the season undefeated and winning the first round of the playoffs. Then came heartbreak: a second consecutive loss to their archrival in the championship round.

“I heard several [girls] tearing up, as they really wanted to win this championship for Lauren,” said Bryan Graham, whose daughter Katelyn played on the team and is a close friend of Lauren’s. “Our season was over. We were city runner-ups.”

The story might end there, as so many similar ones in sports do. But the Lady Mustangs regrouped in March, when spring play began.

“The story was pretty much the same as the season before,” Graham said. “Our girls wanted to win the championship for Lauren and themselves, as this would be our last chance to play together as a Duff all-girl team before heading to junior high.”

After Saturday games, several girls — still dressed in their volleyball uniforms — sometimes visited Lauren at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Lauren would say how much she wished she could play with them.

That wasn’t possible, of course, but as it turned out she helped her friends win a coveted title just the same. On May 4, about a week after being released from the hospital, Lauren served as honorary bench coach for yet another title match against Duff’s archrival.

When the Lady Mustangs lost the first match, Lauren could see the problem.

“Lauren was sitting on the players bench and told me we were not being aggressive enough and not moving around,” Graham said. “Taking that for heart, I asked her dad if it would be alright if she spoke to the team.”

As the teams switched sides, Lauren spoke her mind to the Lady Mustangs, who then promptly won that match and another to claim the city title.

“We kept reminding the girls about what Lauren said about being aggressive and moving your feet,” Graham said.

Inspiration, it turns out, works both ways.

Hospital leader honored

Dr. Hoyt Frenzel, medical director of Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, was recently named physician of the year at the 17th annual Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council luncheon.

“Dr. Frenzel has played an integral role in Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital’s numerous achievements to advance and promote quality healthcare and patient satisfaction,” hospital President Kirk King said in a statement. “His actions speak volumes and demonstrate his commitment to helping those in need, whether they are patients in our hospital or the underprivileged living in our communities.”

Frenzel has served on the hospital’s medical staff since 2001 and in 2007 became the emergency department medical director. Under his direction, in 2009 the hospital became one of the first in the world to be designated as an acute heart failure center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

He recently helped the hospital attain full accreditation in cycle 4 chest pain, a distinction held by fewer than 100 hospitals nationwide as of last year.

Frenzel graduated from Lamar High School before earning his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of North Texas in Denton. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Along with addressing the healthcare needs of patients, he is passionate about helping the underprivileged. He volunteers at Mission Arlington’s medical clinic, and through his Frenzel Sisters Toy Drive he serves children in the Arlington, Colleyville and Grapevine areas. Twice a year, Frenzel and his three young daughters host the toy drive .

UTA student lauded

A University of Texas at Arlington student has received the UT System board of regents’ Outstanding Student Award in Arts and Humanities for his work in the visual arts.

Bryce Bennett was recognized for outstanding two-dimensional work for his photographic series Beneath and Inside Out. Bennett is a senior photography major who works as a photo lab technician in a work-study position at UT Arlington. He also teaches several photo workshops on behalf of the university.

Beneath and Inside Out gives the viewer a unique perspective of the highway overpass underworld that is rarely experienced by driver or pedestrian, Bennett said. He was awarded $1,500 to be deposited in his academic department budget.

“The arts and humanities continue to be a profoundly important aspect of higher education, and the board of regents is thrilled to recognize the extraordinary talent at UT System,” said regents Chairman Gene Powell.

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