STATE GOLF: An ACL won’t stop BensonJACKSON — Oct. 4, 2011, is a day Jackson County Central’s Kaylee Benson will never forget. As an athlete that played four years of volleyball and basketball and five years of varsity golf, the only way Benson wanted to be carried off any court or field was on someone’s shoulders to celebrate victory.
JACKSON — Oct. 4, 2011, is a day Jackson County Central’s Kaylee Benson will never forget. As an athlete that played four years of volleyball and basketball and five years of varsity golf, the only way Benson wanted to be carried off any court or field was on someone’s shoulders to celebrate victory.
That October day, in her final year representing the Huskies, Benson was carried off the court because she had torn her ACL.
Fast forward more than eight months and Benson is walking the Ridges at Sand Creek golf course for her fifth trip to the state golf meet today and Wednesday in Jordan, after shooting an 84 at the section meet. Last season, Benson finished third at the state meet, but, as she has learned, nothing is guaranteed in sports.
“It’s been an odd year with everything happening,” Benson said. “I knew I had to play well to make state. Making state wasn’t a sure thing.”
Benson was forced to miss the rest of the volleyball season and came back for one playoff basketball game. Even though Benson is heading to Northern Iowa to play golf, there was a simple reason as to why she wanted to risk her college career for one game.
“I just had to get back for that game,” Benson said.
Athletes have a different way of thinking.
“Kaylee was very determined to not only golf in the spring, but to also play at least one basketball game,” JCC golf coach Mike DiBrito said. “She is a very positive role model, always setting a good example.
“Kaylee has been a nice leader for us with a strong work ethic.”
Benson was a medalist at the sub-section and Southwest Conference meets this season and the section, sub-section and SWC meets last season, leading the Huskies to back-to-back sub-section championships. As a sophomore, Benson helped lead JCC to a conference title and the sub-section championship. As a freshman, Benson contributed to the Huskies’ sub-section and section title and a fourth-place finish at state.
Benson wins and winners hate watching teams win without them or, more importantly, lose without them.
“Playing sports is what I do,” Benson said. “I don’t like to be satisfied with anything.
“I want to always do well.”
It’s taken more than just physical changes to adjust to golf after a torn ACL.
“It’s my left knee, so, as you’re swinging, you’re trying to get momentum to go forward,” Benson said. “So you shift your weight and twist at the same time and I would be nervous something would happen.
“I’m still not 100 percent and it was hard to sit out, but I knew I had to fight through it and I still got to be part of all the teams.”
Even with an ACL injury, Benson played basketball and golf this season. Don’t think she’s going to use it as an excuse to lower her goals for the state meet.
“The goal would be to be in the top five,” Benson said. “I just want to have two good rounds.”
What began in tournaments at the age of six and playing with her entire family has come to her final state meet and the eventual move to Division-I athletics.
“I love golfing,” Benson said. “It’s something I can do my whole life.
“It’s easy on the body.”
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy may be reached at 376-7328.