Benson sticks with lacrosse, commits to play for Hopkins

September 30, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Joe Benson loves sports, which is why he plays football, basketball and lacrosse at McDonogh.

But on Wednesday, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior committed to playing one sport in college, a choice that will exclude him from playing another one in which he ranks as one of the nation's premiere high school athletes.

A second-team All-Metro lacrosse attackman, Benson committed to a scholarship to play that sport at Johns Hopkins. He will join his older brother, Bobby, a former All-Metro lacrosse Player of the Year who will be a senior attackman when his younger sibling arrives on campus.

A quarterback in football, Benson earned All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year honors last fall. His decision to play lacrosse excludes him from playing football at Hopkins, as NCAA rules prohibit athletes who are receiving aid in a Division I sport from playing a Division III sport at the same school.

"After discussing it with my parents and making my visit to Hopkins, I made my decision Wednesday afternoon, called up Coach [Dave Petramala] and told him I wanted to come to Hopkins," said Benson, who had 70 goals and 49 assists for McDonogh's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference runner-up team.

"A lot of kids at the other schools were great, but I couldn't see myself anywhere but Hopkins," said Benson, who also visited Virginia, and, unofficially, Georgetown, North Carolina and Princeton.

Benson, who has a 3.6 grade-point average and a 1,220 SAT score, also was being heavily recruited for football. He led the Eagles last season to a 10-0 season and their fourth straight MIAA B Conference crown. The Eagles are 3-0 and ranked No. 1 this year, including a 1-0 record in the MIAA A Conference.

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