Parish Senior Might Be Small, But He Stands Out on the Field

Offensive and special teams specialist Christian Benson looks to do it all for the Panthers

Christian Benson likes to think of himself as a Swiss Army Knife for Parish Episcopal. He’s capable of performing dozens of functions, and whenever he’s on the field, he’s never dull.

Last season, he scored eight rushing touchdowns and seven receiving touchdowns for the Panthers and was named the district’s top player on special teams. He tallied 187 all-purpose yards and two scores in Parish’s state-title game win over John Paul II.

“Week by week, I’ve just got to do whatever the team needs me to do.”

“I think it’s fun being a utility guy. I embrace all of the different roles that I have.” 

Christian Benson

As a senior this season, those responsibilities now include leadership for a program that has heightened expectations as it looks to defend its TAPPS state championship. Benson and his fellow returnees try to be role models for younger players on the team.

“We have to keep that championship mentality and that championship culture going,” he said. 

“We know that if we lose, it’s considered an upset, but if we win, it’s expected.”

Benson comes from a football family. His grandfather played professionally, and a cousin, Thomas Benson, spent nine years as a linebacker in the NFL with four different teams during the 1980s.

“It’s part of us,” Benson said. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop playing sports. I’m just a competitor at heart.”

Benson grew up playing basketball, soccer, and baseball before settling on football as his primary sport. He made the varsity squad during his freshman season at Greenhill before transferring to Parish.

Although Benson is just 5-foot-7, Parish head coach Daniel Novakov recognized his versatility, durability, and explosiveness.

“He’s listed as a running back, but he’s so much more than that. He’s so dynamic when he gets the ball in his hands,” Novakov said. “Just lining him up in the backfield every play isn’t taking advantage of the complete skill set that he has. He’s like seven different players in one package.”

After his senior year, Benson will head to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, where he will be teammates with Parish linebacker Kenneth Borders. Both gave their verbal commitments this summer.

“I wanted a school with the right environment both academically and athletically,” he said, “and I think Lafayette embodies that.”

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