The Benjamin School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced six new inductees. The induction of the Class of 2020 will take place on Friday, October 2, 2020.
Coach Richard Cavanah has been coaching swimming at The Benjamin School for 37 years. His first season with the Bucs was in the spring of 1977. During his time at TBS, Coach Cavanah has coached many swimmers to state championships, and he has seen many of his swimmers earn All-American honors. One of Coach Cavanah’s favorite coaching memories was being a part of Benjamin alumnus Ryan Berube 92’s journey to the 1996 Olympic Games. Coach Cavanah was in the crowd during Berube’s World Record swim in Atlanta that summer. Prior to life at TBS, Coach Cavanah was an elite swimmer from Columbia, MO. He attended and swam at University of Missouri. Coach Cavanah started coaching immediately after graduating college. After a few years of coaching in Missouri, Coach Cavanah moved to Ft. Lauderdale and eventually to North Palm Beach to serve as the Head Swimming Coach at North Palm Beach Country Club. Cavanah and his wife, Sandy, have two daughters, Kristin and Molly. Both of his daughters are Benjamin alumni and each spent six years on the varsity swim team at TBS.
Chris Cocotos ‘90 will forever be known as a tennis legend at The Benjamin School. While at TBS, Chris won a state championship for the Bucs, and he was the #1 recruit in the nation his senior year. One of his favorite high school memories was representing the United States in the Junior Davis Cup in Europe and South America. The top ranked tennis star went on to Stanford to continue his career. While at Stanford, Chris and his teammates captured a team national championship. In addition to his team success, Chris, along with his doubles partner, won the NCAA Doubles Title, and they were ranked #1 in college tennis. After an astonishing career at Stanford, Chris went on to play professional tennis on the ATP Tour. His favorite memory from his time on the ATP was playing against John McEnroe in the 1992 U.S. Open. Chris is now married with two young boys.
Coach Bob Hohnadel began coaching young runners in Palm Beach County in 1967. In 1990, Coach Hohnadel came to The Benjamin School to coach our boys and girls track and cross country teams. In his first year at the School, he collected three district championships. Throughout his 30 year coaching career at TBS, Coach Hohnadel has led his teams to 15 district titles in cross country and 24 district titles in track. Prior to coming to TBS, Coach Hohnadel coached at several schools across the county including coaching the very first middle school track team in Palm Beach County at Palm Beach Central Junior High School in 1969. Coach Hohnadel ran track and cross country at Florida State University from 1962-1966.
Erlana Larkins ‘04 was the greatest women’s basketball player to come through The Benjamin School. In her time at TBS, she was twice selected as Ms. Basketball, she was a McDonald’s All American, and she was even selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All America team her senior year. In addition to her individual accolades, Erlana also earned four state championships for the Bucs! Her favorite memory at TBS was when she and her teammates claimed the first state title; Erlana was in 7th grade. After Erlana’s spectacular high school career, she signed to play NCAA Division 1 basketball at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It was no surprise that Erlana continued her success in college. As a Tarheel, Erlana was a four time ACC Champion and made two appearances in the NCAA FINAL FOUR. As a leader of her team, Erlana was again named an All American while at UNC. Once her career in interscholastic athletics was done, Erlana was drafted by the New York Liberty in the 2008 draft. In her career in the WNBA she also played with the Indiana Fever and the Minnesota Lynx. In 2012, Erlana won the WNBA Championship in her first year with the Fever. Currently, Erlana serves as the assistant women’s basketball coach at North Carolina Central University.
Coach David Parks has served the School in multiple capacities in his 33 years here at TBS. Coach Parks first began his coaching career in 1988 as the Special Teams Coordinator for the Varsity Football Team, a position he held for 28 years before stepping down in 2016. In the springtime, Coach Parks could be found on the baseball field first as a Varsity assistant for seven years then two years as the Head Varsity Baseball Coach in 1996 and 1997. While assisting the varsity baseball team, Coach Parks also served as the Head JV Baseball Coach for five years where he posted a 56-4 record often referring to his team as the Benjamin Bombers. After the 1997 baseball season, Coach Parks stepped away from baseball for a few years before taking the helm for the Middle School Baseball program in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, the team was 15-0 and won the league championship. While Coach Parks no longer coaches at the School, he remains an intricate part of the Athletic Department in many capacities such as driving teams to and from games, handling the athletic equipment in the middle school, and keeping the scoreboard for multiple sports. Of all the spectacular coaching moments Coach Parks has had at Benjamin, he is most proud to be a Buccaneer when he sees the “Benjamin B,” which he designed in 1992, out in the community. Prior to coming to The Benjamin School, David Dewey Parks Jr. served in the US Army as an Armed Forces Police Officer for three years.
A 2003 graduate of The Benjamin School, Barrett Saunders played football and ran track for TBS. He found the most success on the track as one of the greatest track athletes to ever come through the School. During his time in orange and blue, Barrett set numerous school records. He was a state champion in the triple jump and the long jump, and he was selected as an All American. When he graduated from Benjamin, Barrett went on to run track at The University of Kansas. While at Kansas, Barrett was the captain of his team, earned All Big 12 first team honors, and he was again named an All American. Barrett was also a Big 12 champion and a Midwest Region Champion. His favorite college memory was becoming the first long jump champion in the school’s history in the Big 12 conference. Barrett’s hard work and determination at the track earned him a spot in the Olympic Trials. Currently, Barret is working as a personal trainer, and he is Head Coach for Benjamin’s boys track team.