Benton likes getting his hand raised when he wins a wrestling match

CLARKSTON, WA - Success in and out of sports is directly related to how much sacrifice, dedication, and desire one has to be the best. Yes, it does often times go hand in hand with natural talent and physical gifts. But as Clarkston High School senior and P1FCU 'Athlete of the Week' Eric Benton shows us, it's his drive, heart and love of the sport that keeps him on top of his competition.

He doesn't wear his name on his back, but people rightfully so know his last name and if you don't it would be a good idea to become familiar.

"People just call me by my last name Benton all the time," said Eric Benton.

And it's that name that people are cheering for, and Eric said he's listening!

"I personally just try to give the crowd a show, and really take it to the opponent and show them whose boss," said Benton.

Which isn't a hard thing to do when you began wrestling at the age of five.

"I just like the feeling of getting my hand raised after winning a match, working hard with my friends," said Benton. "And I like to win."

And whether that big "w" is claimed by points or a pin, one things certain, he's dedicated to ending up on top.

"Ever since freshman year I have been weaning myself away from other sports, and focusing more on my training for wrestling," said Benton.

Going harder, running a little faster, and making that extra sacrifice, is what will take Eric from wrestling in the 160-pound weight class to 152. A class that he hopes will lead to the next level.

"I just want to shoot for my first state title, that's my primary goal right now," said Benton. "Working hard to achieve that."

Regardless of that outcome at state, Eric's leadership doesn't stop on the wrestling mats. Because for him a true leader strives to be a great person, student and role model even in the off season.

"I feel like I'm doing my job as an older brother," said Benton. "I'm making the right choices, feel like I'm doing my job as an older brother. It's worth more than myself helping them."

Solid character that makes the undeniable athlete that much better. So next time you're at a CHS wrestling meet remember the name Eric Benton, because he's not only going to go far, but also is this week's P1FCU "Prep Athlete of the Week."

"It feels really good that people are starting to notice the athlete that I am," said Benton.