A different version of history for Mount Paran Christian’s Andrew Bennett includes dogpiles, banners and rings.
“No doubt in my mind, we were definitely coming for the state championship,” Bennett said of his senior season. “We were going to be dogpiling. We were on the upside. We were getting better every single game we played. No team was going to compete with us.”
Instead, Bennett and his teammates concluded their season as the victims of a walk-off home run.
Bennett thinks it was just part of the story. He may not like it that way, but it has come to define his career.
With the passing of every season and every subsequent playoff exit, Bennett grew into more and more of a leader for Mount Paran. He began his career as a utility man, but then became a staple on the mound and in the outfield.
Over his high school career, Bennett earned the team’s Rookie of the Year award, first-team all-state honors, was a Cobb County All-Star and he twice earned first-team all-region honors.
Despite this, Bennett is the kind of leader who prefers to defer credit, sharing the spotlight with others, especially his fellow seniors.
“I have to give credit to the other seniors,” he said. “Without them, I could not have made, it through these four years.”
The tendency began Bennett’s freshman season, when Mount Paran was led by an all-star group of seniors.
“I really looked up to that group of seniors for inspiration for my freshman season,” Bennett said. “They led us and really helped me grow as a baseball player.”
Not only did Bennett spread the wealth of knowledge he inherited his freshman year, but he has worked hard, from batting cage work at 5:30 a.m. to the zero-period workouts before class. He said he knew anything less would not allow him to get where he wanted to be — the major leagues.
Everything is a part of the plan, but that does not mean Bennett has forgotten that baseball is a game at heart.
“If I’m not going to be having fun, then why am I doing it?” he said.
Bennett said his next stop is Samford University, where he will play baseball and study for a potential post-playing career in physical therapy.