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Benson to take on Dordt college hockey

Worthington High School senior Andrew Benson will play hockey next season at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa

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WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington High School boys hockey team doesn’t send athletes to four-year college programs very often, so it’s an impressive thing that senior Andrew Benson signed on Monday to play for Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Benson, a 6-3, 205-pound defenseman, is highly regarded as a leader, a hard worker, and a player who brings passion with him every time he steps onto the ice.

Dordt University hockey coach Tyler Morgan and Worthington High School Trojans Andrew Benson hold up a Defenders jersey Monday afternoon.
Dordt University hockey coach Tyler Morgan and the Worthington Trojans' Andrew Benson hold up a Defenders jersey Monday afternoon as the WHS senior signed to play the college game.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

“It’s going to be leadership,” his high school coach, Tyler Nienkerk, said when asked Monday at the WHS media center about what Benson will take to the next level. “He’s a great kid on and off the ice. He’s big, he’s skilled, and he has a great hockey IQ.”

Dordt hockey coach Tyler Morgan said, in addressing a crowd of Benson well-wishers Monday, that the Defenders look forward to more college-ready hockey players going through the Worthington system.

“We’re really excited to see hockey players the caliber of Andrew. We’re excited there’s good hockey players coming up from around here,” he explained.

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For Benson, there really wasn’t any other school besides Dordt that he considered choosing.

“Because the campus is beautiful, it’s close to home, and the religious aspect is nice, too,” he said about the Christian-based institution.

The chance to play college hockey has been a long-term goal for Benson, who said looking forward to Monday “just gave me a reason to push harder every day.”

Nienkerk, however, intimated that Benson’s hockey-loving, challenge-oriented personality was its own reason. Besides that, there are other positives about Benson, including his vocal leadership ,and the passion and fire he displays during competition.

“He’s not just doing his own thing. He helps the team get better,” Nienkerk said.

Benson, who said he hopes to add a little more muscle when he gets to Dordt, said the Defenders like him for his dedication.

“They like my hard work and just the way I play,” he declared. “Just intense all the time, and physical, and I can see the ice well.”

Related Topics: COLLEGE HOCKEY
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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