Jack of all trades: Benke unsung hero for HHS Football


Tamra Armstrong

Brody Benke waits in anticipation on the sideline during last Friday’s game vs. Simon Kenton.

     This was his moment. 

     The stadium was a roaring scene of blue and purple, their screams echoing throughout the seats. This did not help to calm the overwhelming nerves when Sophomore Brody Benke dropped back for the first drive of the game.

     Benke reflected on his first dive. 

     “The first drive was nerve-wracking but after that, it was all good.” 

     Benke threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns, completing 13 for 23 of his pass attempts. He also ran for 28 yards with multiple 10 yard plus runs. 

     His moment instead started the Monday morning before the first dive of the game. 

     The team received news that their intended starting quarterback would not be able to make the game. In shock, the coaches needed to keep focus and create a plan B. They had different options. 

     Coach Bob Sphire recalled this conversation.

     “Brody and Cam [Bottom] both could potentially be playing in that game.”

     Then, the decision was made. Benke would be Highlands’ starting varsity quarterback this week. 

     Benke’s first varsity game was played on a gorgeous college field. The Western Kentucky University (WKU) football field has tall stands closing in the field, during the game they are filled with loud and passionate fans. 

     Benke was given his opportunity to play with the big boys under the stadium floodlights. 

     Benke revealed the difference that he felt playing with his new teammates. 

     “It felt different to play with the older guys because I’ve never played with them in an actual game scenario.” 

     This moment had been years in the making. 

     Benke began playing football when he was in fourth grade. He decided to continue playing in high school as he thought it would be something good to look back on. He loved the idea of being with his friends in a sport they all love, and it is everything he expects it to be so far. 

     Interestingly enough, Benke’s coaches are not the only people that have good things to say about him. His teammates and friends helped him celebrate last week’s win. 

     Sophomore Ryan Reynolds, long snapper for the HHS varsity football team, divulged how  Benke has been working during practice to secure this sudden and golden opportunity.

     “[Benke’s] been practicing real good, he always gives 100% effort and really sets the bar for the rest of the players.” 

     Last Friday, Benke played in a different capacity as a wide receiver.  He is a jack of all trades, making him versatile on the field.  

     Benke discussed his importance to the team.  

     “I do a little bit of everything, I practice quarterback mostly but I played receiver during that (referring to the most recent) practice.”  

     On Friday, Benke had three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. 

     Sophomore Christian Stojkovic, inside linebacker and friend, agreed. 

     “[Benke’s] just a specimen, he’s a quick learner and everything seems to come naturally to him.” 

     Benke serves as the team’s safety net. He always has the coaches and the team’s back. 

     “The team can [always] depend on me.”