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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Leader guides gridiron victory despite adversity

The position of leadership remains a great undertaking in any event, but the leaders on the football team sacrifice much of their time and effort to the sport and each other.

?The football captains must stay motivated regardless of exhaustion or fatigue,? Ryan Taylor, senior captain, said. ?The rest of the team is watching us and, if we quit, the team usually follows.?

Leaders make either a positive or negative effect on the team. Their work ethic and attitude spread amongst the players and impacts team morale.

?Next year?s senior captains must learn to lead by example and maintain a good attitude at all times,? Nate Weis, senior captain, said. ?They must encourage rather than tear each other down when the team is losing.?

In a winning season, it rarely takes little courage for anyone to maintain a good attitude and keep playing. However, after losing games, a person?s true character begins to show in their attitude as well as their actions. In the Eagle ?06 season, teammates lost confidence in their coaches and captains.

?True resolve shows only when one is beaten,? Eric Beneke, senior captain, said. ?You can tell if a person is a good leader by his actions after defeat.?

The Eagles lost eight of their ten in the ?06 season, and their resolve attests to their true character against heavy odds. However, in the midst of this, Beneke provided a prospective hope for anyone seeking to excel in football. His story involves many challenges unknown to most players.

?With my teammates, I played through losses, fatigue and injuries,? Beneke said. ?Through this experience, I know my teammates in football, coworkers at the job as well as my friends, watch my actions and act in accordance.?

Beneke moved to the United States from El Salvador when he was 11 years old, knowing very little English and nothing about the culture. However, hope remained that life in the United States would yield benefits to him and his family.?

?It was hard trying to adapt to the culture. Some of the kids were racist and made fun of me,? Beneke said. ?No one spoke Spanish at the first school I went to, so it was very difficult.?

While living in Monterey with his aunt and uncle, he learned more about American culture and the English language. In the 8th grade, Beneke moved with his mother, father and brother to Fresno, where he attended Fresno Christian Schools.

?Coming to a new school once again was difficult, but I had a new sense of security,? Beneke said. ?There are always people who provide a relief when they are nice to you and try to be your friend.?

Beneke started football his freshman year as a lineman and though his four years in football, his perseverance on the field brought him to the position of team captain.

?In my two years coaching Eric in football, he has shown stability in leadership as a captain, as well as his high level of competitiveness and skill,? Jon Hall, varsity football coach, said. ?I never had to worry about Eric?s attitude on or off the field despite some tough situations and adversity.?

His story shows that anyone with the right attitude can succeed, regardless of the obstacles.

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