Josh Benson -Courtesy photo
By SHEL SEGAL
Coming off a blowout win a week ago in the season opener against Alhambra High, the Arcadia High football team is hoping to double its success this week against Monrovia High.
And if multi-talented player Josh Benson has his way, the Apaches will have nothing to worry about.
Playing running back, fullback and linebacker, Benson said he is happiest when he has the ball in his hands.
“My favorite is to run the ball,” he said. “I like to move and I like to run people over and score. I’m very good at that.”
However, on defense Benson is no slouch as he ran an interception back for a touchdown against Alhambra and forced the Moors quarterback to fumble the ball.
Benson said his success on defense comes from the work the entire squad has put in so far.
“Last year, we weren’t as physical as a defense,” he said. “This year, we’re flying to the ball more. Everybody’s working as a team to tackle the runner.”
Now a senior, Benson transferred to Arcadia from Cathedral High prior to his junior year. He said things are going well under second-year coach Andrew Policky.
“He’s been working with me well,” Benson said of Policky. “We’ve been going to the trainings – the 7-on-7s – and during practice he would motivate me a lot, try to get me looks. I’m pretty happy with what he’s been doing.”
Policky said Benson is a good player to have on the team.
“Josh is the type of kid who had the respect of all of his teammates because they can all see how important football is to him,” Policky said. “He works at it constantly. He’s a funny kid who always has a smile on his face and keeps the group loose but when it’s serious time or time to work he can switch hats in a hurry. He has been a great fit amongst his teammates and our program since he transferred in from Cathedral last year.”
Policky added that Benson has a very nice skill set.
“He is deceptively fast and possesses a very high football IQ which allows him to play faster,” Policky said. “He has great hands and plays with a nastiness that sets the tone for the rest of our group. Because his football IQ is so high he can switch from inside linebacker to outside without any problems and is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. Without Josh we are much less flexible in what we are able to do scheme wise on both sides.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed via Twitter @segallanded).