As a Bennett-Smith, it’s fair to say I have a lot to live up to.
Being the youngest of four definitely has its perks. But there’s an expectation that I will excel in the same areas that my siblings excelled in. And all of them were amazing scholar athletes.
My sister, Meredith, ‘06, played varsity basketball and was co-captain of the varsity girls’ soccer team.
Miles, ‘09, was co-captain of the soccer team and played baseball, cross-country, and even did wrestling. He then went on to play club soccer, club basketball and club baseball at Stanford University.
And Morgan, currently a senior, followed in their footsteps, running cross-country and playing baseball and varsity basketball. He will play varsity soccer at Occidental College in Los Angeles in the fall.
The first game I watched from my booster seat, sippy cup in hand, was Meredith and Miles’s basketball game at the YMCA.
As I grew older, the sports multiplied. Baseball season started, and with it came long evening practices and games every weekend at Loomis Park.
I’ve spent my vacations on trips to soccer tournaments and sat through six years of section championship soccer games. When they lost, I lost, and when they triumphed, so did I.
Understand that I’m not complaining. I’m very proud of their accomplishments, and I’ve never begrudged any of them.
But sometimes I get tired of being compared to my siblings by my teachers, coaches and even my parents.
When I joined the basketball team, coaches David Ancrum and Matt Vargo would encourage me to practice more by reminding me that I was a Bennett-Smith.
It’s in my blood. “You’ll be getting at least 10 points a game next year,” Vargo said.
As I grew older and realized that maybe I would never reach the same skill level in the traditional Country Day sports (soccer, track, basketball) as my brothers and sister, I decided that I could make my own legacy in water sports. I’m a swimmer, I played water polo and I’m a lifeguard.
When I was younger, I loved bragging to all of my siblings, especially Morgan, about how I was the best swimmer in the family.
But Morgan could never admit this. We had many arguments about who was the best swimmer, and he always maintained that it was he. Once he said to me, “I’m stronger, faster and better than you.”
As I got older I started to think about why Morgan could never just admit that I was the best swimmer. I think the main reason was his unyielding competitiveness.
Morgan chose a different path from me. He decided early that he would make his name by being extremely competitive.
He worked hard, specifically in soccer, to achieve this goal, not only to improve the Bennett-Smith legacy, but to make his own.
But I don’t have Morgan’s competitive drive.
I also don’t have all of my siblings’ strengths. I’m not a sports star like them, and I’m not going to be. I’m okay with that.
But let me just set the record straight. I am the best Bennett-Smith swimmer.