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The LEAP Student Blog

Billy Simpkin, Kiona Benton HS: "Bear Country"

Author: Billy Simpkin
Grade: Junior
School: Kiona Benton
Mascot: Bears
League: SCAC
Classification: 1A

Bear Country

Benton City, home of the Bears, is where I grew up (and growing), and I wouldn’t want to be in any other place. My school, Kiona-Benton, is a pretty small school compared to a lot of the schools around us in the Tri-Cities. The town population is around 3,300, which are spread out across Benton City's beautiful vineyards, orchards, open fields, rolling hills, and other farmland. You can see all of Benton City atop Horse Heaven Hills... it’s a very beautiful sight!

Our school, as of now, is classified in 1A for sports. What’s special about our school and our sports programs, is the amount of support that our student-athletes receive. We get continuous support from our peers, teachers, and the community around us. For example, one time at a team dinner in Benton City, a middle school teacher form Ki-Be (who we all remember) came up to us and said “Boy, you guys sure play hard. I haven’t seen a group play so hard and work together as much as you guys do in about 4-5 years. Your games are very exciting to watch!” As a student-athlete, hearing someone say something as supportive as that is awesome.

Also, our team is very supportive of one another. Take, for example, basketball. When one of our teammates on the floor gets a steal, makes a basket, takes a charge on defense (offensive foul), or anything like that, our teammates on the bench jump up out of their seats and cheer them on. If someone messes up on the floor and gets subbed out, everyone on the bench still gets up and “brings them in” either cheering them on for what they did good or saying that it’s alright and they’ll get it next time. There’s no better feeling than messing up big time, but still having your teammates support 100%. We care for each other, and we support each other. In every sport, we’re not just a team. We’re a family aiming for victory.

As for me, personally, I’m very thankful for the support athletes receive from everyone in the community. Student-athletes are recognized for their accomplishments and we involve the whole school in state send-offs. Both years I went to state for cross country, I was the only one going. Even though I was the only one, they still offered me a send-off where everyone would get out of class and send me on my way to state. I said no to this because I don’t exactly love the spotlight, but it was still very nice to offer it. Still, the school announced me over the intercom congratulating me on my accomplishment which made me happy. For track, we had a small team make it to state which I was on, and everyone was released from class, including the band members, and they read out our names one by one and the band played a short tune for each person walking through the hallway of people cheering everyone on. This kind of support and recognition is shown for every sport in Ki-Be.


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