St. Frederick senior middle linebacker Gordon Bennett has always loved football, but winning has made it even more fun.
With Bennett leading the team in tackles, the Warriors were one of the state’s surprise teams last year, going from 4-7 the previous season to 9-3 in 2018.
“Coach (Andy) Robinson came in here and turned things around,” said Bennett, who garnished All-Parish and All-District 2-1A honors. “It was a great feeling to start winning. It makes you feel like you are worth something. We’re going to try to keep it up this year.”
A three-year starter, Bennett’s achievements on the football field have not gone unnoticed. On the academic side, he is a 3.75 student and has scored 25 on his ACT.
Summing up his recruiting status, Bennett said, “No offers yet, just looks.”
Robinson is confident the offers will come for the 6-2, 225-pound Bennett, who has attended camps at ULM, Louisiana Lafayette and Arkansas Monticello this summer.
“Gordon has some I-AA (FCS) and Division II schools really looking at him,” Robinson said. “He has been on the camp tour and been in front of coaches from every college in the state. He is on a lot of peoples radar. We are looking for big things out of him this season.”
Bennett is striving to make his senior season his best year yet.
“I have been working on my speed because that is probably my biggest weakness,” Bennett said. “Hopefully, I’ll be a little faster this year so I can make more tackles and force more fumbles.”
Bennett, who doubles as a situational tight end, has embraced the responsibilities that come with being a senior.
“For my senior year, I am trying to step up and lead the team, the defense especially,” Bennett said.
Regardless of his classification, Bennett’s leadership skills have never been a concern for his coach.
“Gordon is an all-around program type kid,” Robinson said. “He represents our school in the right way. He is a team leader on and off the field. The success he has had academically and athletically is a reflection of himself and his family.”
Bennett was exposed to football at an early age.
“I have been playing football since the first or second grade,” Bennett said. “All of my brothers and my dad played, and I have always liked it.”
For Bennett, one of the highlights of his high school career has been playing alongside his brother. Beau Bennett, a junior, is entering his second season as a starting defensive end for the Warriors.
“It’s been fun making some good memories with Beau,” Gordon Bennett said.
Unlike last season, Bennett is aware that the Warriors will have a target on their back after winning some games they weren’t expected to win.
“Some of our opponents are definitely going to be a little angry, but that’s all right. I think we’ll do fine,” Bennett said.
Bennett is confident the work the Warriors have put in this summer will reap dividends.
“Everybody has been working hard, getting better and getting faster. Coach (Billy) Bell is something else,” Bennett said, referring to the Warriors’ strength and conditioning coach.
St. Fred must replace five starters on defense. Bennett has high expectations for one first-year starter in particular.
“James Mayronne (outside linebacker), who is going to a sophomore this year, stepped in late last year when one of our starters got hurt,” Bennett said. “I think he is going to be a really good football player.”
Before he leaves, Bennett hopes to play a part in the transformation of another program at St. Fred.
“We had a young team in basketball last year, and we kind of struggled,” said Bennett, who plays forward on the hardwood. “We have a new coach (Terry Waldrop). He’s coached D-2 before, and he’s really a good coach. I think we are going to do a lot better this year.”
Bennett goes into his senior year with high expectations academically and athletically.
“First of all, I want to keep my grades up and improve my ACT score,” Bennett said. “I just want to go all out, do my best and enjoy it while I can.”
Going all out is a way of life for Bennett.