Being the lone senior on any athletic team can be a little intimidating. For Mosley's Sam Bennett, the senior tennis player embraced it, providing leadership on, and off, the court for his younger teammates.
In his senior season, Sam was the #1 player in singles and doubles for the Dolphins, and with all eyes on him as the only senior on the boys team, being at the top has taken a lot of hard work- and a lot of admiration for those that came before him.
"I remember being a freshman, playing with Adam Decker," remembered Sam. "He was a great tennis player. I remember always wanting to be like him, I looked up to him. I hope a set a good leadership to these guys- maybe they looked up to me."
It's that leadership that helped lead not only the Mosley's boy's team to a County Championship this season- but the girls captured one as well.
"He was the first one out here, and the last one to leave, not always, but most of the time," laughed head coach Ann Talkington. "He was here getting things going, running laps, the students were able to look up to him. He was always enthusiastic, really helping the team to grow together as a team- and that was our strength this year."
"Being county champions is a pretty big deal for us," said Sam. "I couldn't have done it without my team though, they were the ones that carried us to county champions. It was a great season. These guys, they're a great team. I wouldn't want to trade them for anything else."
What's also a pretty big deal? Sam's grades- as he carries a 4.2 GPA in Mosley's MAPPS program.
"You gotta work hard for anything you want," said Sam. "Whether it be academics, sports. Anything you want to be good at, you gotta try, practice, work, work, work."
"Academics is number one," said Talkington. "I'm really looking forward to seeing big things out of Sam. He would bring his books to study on road trips. He was hitting the books. He really knows what it takes to succeed."
"These guys are some smart kids on the team, I actually look up to them," said Sam. "I have a few of them in my classes actually. Being the only senior, I'm the only one leaving, and I know this is a very smart team, very good tennis players, they'll do well next year. I know they will."
Of course they will, because all great players had someone else to look up too at one point in time. Sam will attend Auburn next year, where he plans to play intramural tennis. He says he wants to study hospitality management.