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A Spring Filled with School, Sports, and Smiles

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The sun comes up, the flowers begin to grow, and the cheery chirp of the birds return! Spring is here and summer is right around the bend. As the year slowly wraps to a close, Benet’s students are able to look back on their year, their achievements, and their growth. Both boys and girls from every class glow with their faith, excel academically, and triumph in their extracurricular activities. Five students took the time to explain how they have embraced balance in the chapel, in the classroom, and on the field this year.

Connor Hincks is the freshman shortstop on the JV baseball team and frequent mass attendee. When asked how his freshman year was going, Hincks explained that the only challenging parts of Benet are the increase in schoolwork and the many new faces that he sees in the halls. His advice is, “…this could be overwhelming, but remember that every student is going through the same problem of meeting new friends. Don’t be afraid to step out to other students and introduce yourself!” Hincks mentioned that by combining the social part of school with good study habits, Benet isn’t a problem at all. In fact, his favorite part of Benet is the welcoming and friendly students and teachers who are always there when you need them. Hincks went on to add that “Benet is one of the best and easiest places to become closer to God.” Hincks enjoys the morning masses offered as well as homeroom mass and reconciliation. His absolute favorite way to stay connected though, is through Benet’s service council, SALT. He believes that balance reduces stress and allows for more time to participate in extracurricular activities and most importantly, prayer.

Freshman Jack Hlavin is a three sport athlete and honor roll student. He plays football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and is currently on the freshman baseball team. Hlavin stays involved with his faith at Benet by going to the freshman masses held on Thursdays. When asked about his expectations of freshman year he explained, “I expected freshman year of high school to be a tough learning experience and a new way of life, but still enjoyable because you can meet new friends.” Hlavin continued by responding, “participate in as many activities as you can and keep your grades up, but always make time for God.”

Nicole Budzynski is a sophomore, three sport athlete, and SALT member. Budzynski runs cross country in the fall, plays basketball in the winter, and runs track in the spring. When asked about her sophomore year, Budzynski said that this year she was able experience many new opportunities such as the March for Life and National Honor Society. Budzynski stays involved with her faith at Benet mainly through SALT and the events that it offers. Budzynski explained that by keeping on top of her homework, she limits stress and also performs better in her sports. Budzynski continued by mentioning, “Take advantage of everything that Benet has to offer. Go to homeroom mass or mass before school and try to do as many service events as possible!” To complete her thoughts on balance Budzynski continued, “to have balance, you have to teach yourself to control the distractions around you.”

​Junior Collin Dannheim also gave advice about his experience going through his third year at Benet. Dannheim plays soccer for both Benet and a club team year round. He stays involved with his faith by attending mass and receiving grace through the multiple sacraments that Benet offers every week. Dannheim started by saying, “Balance is so important here at Benet, and ultimately in life. It’s vital to figure out what needs the most time and to give the most time to whatever that thing is.” His advice to be successful is to put effort into everything. Nothing, inside or outside of Benet, should be neglected in a balanced schedule and life. He went on to add, “It’s important to put all your effort into something if you truly want it. If you do that then things tend to balance themselves out for you.” From his experience, when you put effort in your academics, sports, and faith, it all comes to balance through your dedication.

Senior Katie Jaseckas is a two-time state basketball champion and future D1 basketball player at Truman State in Missouri. Jaseckas began by speaking about her faith and how during sophomore year she connected with her faith by joining SALT and Marians. Jaseckas has a strong relationship with the monks at Benet, and explained, “The monks at Benet just really connect well with students. They know about teenagers, what we’re going through, and how to help us.” Jaseckas’s Catholic faith is the one reason why she isn’t nervous to go to college. She continued by saying, “I know that I won’t fall away from my faith. Everything about my life is going to change in a few months, I am going to a new school, staying in a new state, playing for a new team. But, God is the one thing that will never change. He is my rock for the rest of my life!” There is always a game, practice, test, or quiz, but by taking advantage of her study halls, she has more time to enjoy the smaller parts of her day. Jaseckas’s final piece of advice was to enjoy every minute of high school and take life with a smile! It is much more fun if you relax and enjoy it.

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A Spring Filled with School, Sports, and Smiles