Ashley Benson: Superstar

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Benson accepting flowers after being crowned Homecoming Queen. Photo by Maggie Santos

Senior Ashley Benson had quite a busy Fall, playing not one but two sports, getting straight A’s for the third year in a row and being crowned Homecoming Queen.

Benson played for both the football and volleyball team this fall. She ended both seasons with positive experiences, making it to state in volleyball and playoffs in football. This was the first year Benson kicked for the football team, but this was her third season playing volleyball for Manitou.

She did not know what the football season was going to be like, but after experiencing the sport, she wished she had gotten involved in kicking earlier in her high school career.

Benson kicks an extra point in a football game.
Photo by Maggie Santos

“I could be kicking much better. I know I’m pretty consistent now, but I think I would be more confident,” said Benson.

Her football teammates treated her just as they would any other player. “I don’t’ even notice her anymore as a girl on the team, instead of a girl football player, she is just a football player,” said teammate KC Quarry.

Other teammates also appreciate having her on the team. “Ashley Benson is hard working, committed, and a wonderful teammate,” said Cody Hickox.

Her football teammates are not the only ones who were impressed with her performance, “I hope it inspires everyone to try anything they have a passion for,” said Coach Gieck.

Despite playing volleyball for so long, she felt inspired to try something new. Benson practiced with both her teams daily; she warmed up with the football team and practiced her kicking, and then she went to volleyball practice for an hour and a half.

“In volleyball I have more of a different role so I have to do more, so I just play football for a little bit,” said Benson.

Benson prepares to pass the ball.
Photo by Maggie Santos

Although she had to split her time between both sports, her coaches and teammates were supportive. “Ashley is a great leader because she is an amazing athlete, and people strive to be more like her. She is always smiling, and is always a positive motivator and hard worker. Even though she played two sports at once, she never let them get in the way of each other,” said volleyball teammate Riley Witham.

Benson took on a difficult few months, choosing to participate in two sports, but she did it with a great attitude and positivity. She was an inspirational and a loyal teammate.

“She has been a great addition to the team this year, it wouldn’t have been the same without her,” said Dustin Bohnert.

Benson had the ability to juggle two demanding sports, academics, and friendships, while also impacting her fellow students enough for them to vote her Homecoming Queen.

Benson accepting flowers after being crowned Homecoming Queen.
Photo by Maggie Santos

She showed her surprise towards being voted queen saying, “It’s pretty cool being Homecoming Queen… I didn’t think I was going to get it, but it was nice.”

Benson has inspired her classmates and the people in the stands who cheer her on. “My little sister, Kyra, looks up to Ashley so much. She always asks to go give her a hug and even brought a notebook to get Ashley’s autograph,” said Raine Cimino. “What Ashley is doing is awesome for herself, her friends, and little girls everywhere.”

By Maddie Conarro and Susanna Smith

Contributor Drew Faloon