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Varsity Football Plays Game on Kennerly Field for the First time in 14 Years

Running+Back+Addison+Matevia+%2720+looks+to+head+upfield+during+the+second+quarter+against+Jensen+Beach.
Running Back Addison Matevia '20 looks to head upfield during the second quarter against Jensen Beach.

Running Back Addison Matevia '20 looks to head upfield during the second quarter against Jensen Beach.

Mr. Crisafi

Mr. Crisafi

Running Back Addison Matevia '20 looks to head upfield during the second quarter against Jensen Beach.

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The last time a varsity football game was played on the Lower/Middle School Campus, no middle school students were even born yet. That’s why the game played on Friday, August 18, even though it was a pre-season game, was such a big deal. Because the upper school field still was not ready after last February’s hurricane, varsity football players graced the gridiron on Kennerly Field for the first time since the Upper School left our campus for its own in 2003.

Mr. Crisafi
Roberto Lama ’18 cheers for the Bucs by brandishing the giant head of Offensive Coordinator Mr. Eric Kresser.

The contest, played in soul-wilting humidity (temperatures soared to 96 degrees), pitted our Bucs against the Jensen Beach Falcons in the pre-season Kickoff Classic. Benjamin struck first on a beautiful 30-yard score when quarterback Jordan Travis ’18 hit wide receiver Joe Mariani ’19 in the northwest corner of the endzone on the game’s opening drive. However, that would be the last time the Bucs would find the endzone as they were worn down by a stout and constant Falcons attack that resulted in a 33-7 loss. However, it was still a fun atmosphere within the cozy confines of the Lower/Middle School campus that brought together fans and students from all three divisions of the TBS community.

“It is definitely more of a home-y feeling.,” said senior co-captain Martin Weisz, describing playing on Kennerly Field. “Everyone is so close together and watching the game. It’s nice,” said the offensive and defensive tackle.

It also brought back memories from some of the coaches who have been at TBS since before the upper school campus even existed. “Even though the score of Friday’s football game with Jensen Beach did not turn out the way we had hoped, it was still a fun and exciting time for me and the team,” said Head Football Coach Mr. Ronald Ream, a Benjamin fixture of 42 years at the School. “I personally coached for over 30 years on Kennerly Field and it was very nostalgic to be back. [Middle School Athletic Director]Coach [Toby] Harbeck, the grounds crew, and the entire middle school administration made us feel very welcome, and made sure everything was just right.”

In addition to the game on the field, there were also food trucks and a ton of school spirit thanks to the Dazzlers (the upper school dance team), the cheerleaders, and the music that was blasting from the speakers on the sidelines. All of this added to the festive atmosphere and provided ample entertainment for those in attendance.

“I thought that the fact that game was at this campus instead of the Upper School brought more middle schoolers to the game which was really nice,” said eighth grader Matthew Postman, whose brother, Ryan plays offensive and defensive line for the varsity squad.

Since the game had a great turnout from Benjamin families, it may be worth considering holding more Upper School games and events on the

Mr. Crisafi
The Dazzlers perform their halftime routine on Kennerly Field.

Lower/Middle School Campus. It’s a sentiment with which Upper School Athletic Director Mr. Ryan Smith agrees.“We are trying to play some upper school athletic games at the Lower/Middle School [campus],” he said, “and also vice versa, trying to play some Middle School games at the Upper School. This allows our student body in grades pre-k through 12 to interact and support one another.”

Although Benjamin lost, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the Buccaneer faithful who braved the sweltering heat to support their team. However, that’s what it means to be a family – you support one another no matter what. Having music, food, and snow cones, though, definitely makes it a little easier.

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The official student news site of The Benjamin Middle School in North Palm Beach, FL
Varsity Football Plays Game on Kennerly Field for the First time in 14 Years