FTJL Football (Boys Varsity) Football (Boys Freshman) Football (Boys Junior Varsity)

Benke steps up as unlikely quarterback yet again

By Wes Caldwell | Sep. 16, 2022 8:36 AM

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Sara Price and Kiara Raaker|September 13, 2022 Followup: Last year the Hilltopper published a story on then Sophomore Brody Benke stepping into the quarterback position during the first game of the year in 2021 against Bowling Green. This year, Benke took that role yet again. The wind blows and the sun sets as the players are battling under the lights. All the players are applying maximum effort into the game, as it’s not going well. The team was struggling throughout the duration of the game. The coaches are sweating in anticipation. They hurriedly throw Junior Brody Benke into the game, hoping for a comeback. Although a seasoned quarterback, Benke was predicted to play tight end for the team. Benke said, “Towards the beginning of the season, before we started playing games I was expecting to play quarterback and then I slowly started to play more tight end.” It wasn’t until the game against South Warren, on August 20, that Coach Bob Sphire decided to play him, hoping he would do well based on muscle memory. Sphire stated, “The number one factor is, how can you place the players to help the team be the most successful. Brody falls in the category of one of these young men who is a very talented athlete, who can do a lot of things to help our team.” Benke didn’t get the ideal amount of practice to play quarterback in the second half of the game against South Warren. Benke stated, “I don’t think they really threw me into it but I didn’t have much notice.” Since then, Benke has been playing quarterback for every drive in the varsity games. The team has improved its record to 2-2. Freshman Mario Litmer states, “I think I will have less varsity playing time because there’s only one quarterback on the field, and Brody has been doing a good job in that spot.” Benke might come back to play the tight end position his senior year, or even be recruited by colleges for another position while playing quarterback because of his skills and overall demeanor. Benke’s father Todd Benke said, “We have been telling Brody over the last year to do what he wants to do. Many people are telling Brody that he will be recruited and play in college at the tight end position but he has a lot of the skills you see from good quarterbacks. Ultimately, we want him to play where it gives the team the best chance to win.” Sphire reiterated that the best place for Benke is what is best for the team. “It’s not really my preference, it’s what’s best for the team. That has to be the first variable that you always look at. The second variable is, what are you doing with Brody that can help him through this process to reach whatever his goals may be?”

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