Benedictine made its mark on the gridiron this year, and a dozen of its players have been recognized for their contribution to the team's success, earning all-state recognition.
For those who do not know much about football, the term “All-State” essentially means that the player that receives the title is one of the most successful players at their particular position in the state for that season. There are countless websites with their own ranks and standings for All-State, but the VISAA ranking is the most used and most realistic ranking of All-State players.
"The VISAA All-State team is the most legitimate ranking for All-State athletes," stated Benedictine football coach Greg Lilly. "The VISAA ranking is voted on by coaches, in lieu of being judged by sports writers who don't actually see much of the team's play."
The players at Benedictine who received first team honors were; Leon Haughton, Dylan Faniel, Eddie Jackson and TJ Baldwin. The players who received second team honors were; Garry Seigler, Henry Berling, Joe Covington, Jacob Moore, Joel Starlings and DJ Edmonds. There were also two players that received honorable mention; Myles Bridges and Aaron O'Neal. Three of the athletes mentioned really stepped up to the plate this year. Baldwin made the first team, which, in general, is a rather difficult thing to achieve as a junior, and the first team is generally seniors. "TJ had a great season," said Coach Lilly. "He achieved a lot, and making the first team is just the cherry on top."
Coach Lilly also mentioned Edmonds, who made the second team in two positions, defensive back and punt return, which is an uncommon feat. The third standout performer was O'Neal. He did not get much play his sophomore and junior year on varsity, but as a senior he made great improvement and wound up having an exceptionally successful season.
The benefits of being on the All-State team is that it is a nice feather in your cap for the season, especially if you are senior. Seniors receive it as if a push towards their future to do better and greater things after their high school career. It can also help for football recruiting later on. The Benedictine squad have performed similarly almost every year in the past few years, with the exception of 2014 and 2020, they made the championship every year up till now.
Being selected as a member of the All-State team is something that is always looked forward to by players, and the Big Green rarely disappoint.