Each week the Athletic Department and the Spartan Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) selects a Spartan Athlete of the Week. The recipient for the week of January 16 is wrestler Jimmy Benson.
He went 2-2 at the South Suburban Conference Red meet on Saturday and scored half of the team points with two huge pins. But more important than the outcome of the matches was the effort and fortitude Benson showed throughout the meet.
“Jimmy provided a reason for coaching this season when he illustrated what makes our sport so great,” said head coach Steve Long. “Jimmy did not win conference, nor did he place, but as an unseeded wrestler in the 152-pound weight class, he wrestled the best he has all season.”
In Benson’s third match of the day, he was losing by nine points with less than 20 seconds left in the match, but he head-locked and pinned his opponent with :08 remaining to seal a remarkable victory and prove he was never out of the match until the final buzzer sounded.
“Jimmy set an example of the mantra we try to instill in our young team,” Long said. “If for only one match that day, he embodied the spirit of the greatness of sport and competition.”