By Gus Weinstein and Kyon DarDar
“You could say it was a good start to my day,” said Jamesville-DeWitt High School senior wrestler Ben Honis. That day was Dec. 10, when Honis was woken up by his dad who broke the news to him that he had been awarded the News Channel 9 Athlete of the Week. Honis was ecstatic; “being athlete of the week has been one of my goals for awhile now, and receiving the honor helped prove to myself that hard work pays off.”
Honis has been working hard since freshman year to achieve his number one goal of winning the state championship. “Going into this season I thought I had a pretty good chance of running the table and winning states,” said Honis. After achieving All-CNY second team honors for football in the fall, Honis immediately started training for the upcoming wrestling season where he was a heavy favorite to repeat as Sectional Champion and go onto states. Honis still believes he can win a state championship even after a heart breaking defeat in the Eastern State tournament. “Even though I lost, I have to keep working hard and training so that I don’t lose my edge,” said the senior.
Honis isn't just in it for himself. “Ben is a positive role model for the whole team. He helps all the underclassmen with their technique and conditioning,” freshman wrestler Dakota Martin said. One of three captains on the team, Honis’ role is to teach and “make sure everyone is focused and on task,” said Head Coach Joseph Moran. “If anyone deserved the award it was Ben he is very coachable. He always follows direction and works hard. He might be the best wrestler I’ve coached,” said Moran. “Ben is the hardest and most dedicated worker I know. He always stays positive and never backs down from a challenge,” said fellow captain and senior Tucker Benedict. Honis also works with younger wrestlers to further their knowledge and technique. “Ben has really helped me with my takedown and grappling ability. That is just one of the reason he deserves to win athlete of the week,” said Martin.
“I wasn’t surprised when I heard Ben had won the award. I knew it was a matter of time before News Channel 9 noticed him,” senior Zach Hatem said, Honis received the award live on News Channel 9. The feature included an interview with Honis and a clip of him wrestling in practice. “It all happened in a blink of an eye,” said Honis; “They interviewed me then filmed be practicing for a little while and then were gone.” Honis mentioned that he watched the news clip with his family on the day it aired, Dec. 12. Out for now with bruised ribs, Honis is working hard to come back as soon as possible, he hopes to be back with in the week. Honis is looking forward to wrestling at Cornell University in 2015.