Seniors step up in final season
February 21, 2008
As the buzzer sounds and players from both sides hit the showers, Falcons seniors Jana Benitz and Caitlin Hunstock know that their basketball careers are coming to an end. This will be the final season for these two as both look to move on.
Although Benitz isn’t graduating this year, she will not be back with the Falcons next season.
Benitz is continuing her major in elementary education with a minor in coaching. Hunstock will be graduating at the end of the semester with a degree in sociology and a minor in criminal justice.
These Falcons aren’t just linked by year in school, but also by number of seasons played and the fact that they both transferred to UW-River Falls. Benitz came here after spending two years at UW-Stout. Hunstock transferred from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.
Even though they did not win any championships, both have received several player of the game and player of the week mentions. Hunstock was nominated for a WIAC Player of the Week award.
Benitz tied for second in UWRF record books by getting eight steals in a game against Stout earlier this season.
This game was especially meaningful for her as she was playing against her cousin.
Hunstock remembers a game earlier this season when she scored 26 points, a career high, against Augsburg.
The leadership ability of these two has not gone unnoticed.
“These girls became seniors in a tough time and they have done a great job stepping in as leaders, with all the new players we’ve had this year,” coach Cindy Hovet said.
Benitz has had a rough road to get to where she is.
As a freshman at UW-Stout, she was red-shirted, which means that she could only practice with the team, and was not allowed to participate in any games. She has also recovered from two knee surgeries.
When asked what they will remember most, both talked about leadership and teamwork.
“I will remember this past year because I was team leader and I learned a lot about leadership,” Hunstock said. “Like how you need patience and need to stay positive.”
Being a leader requires more than just patience and a positive attitude, as teamwork plays an important part.
“Team bonding was big for us and the team has really gelled well together over the past few games,” Benitz said. “It’s been a hard season, but it has made us stronger.”
It has been a tough season for these two seniors, but both said that they don’t regret it and wouldn’t trade it in for a second. Both had individual wishes that they wanted to see before ending their basketball careers.
“It would have been nice to have a more successful season in terms of wins and losses,” Benitz said.
Hunstock wished for a different finish.
“It would have been nice to finish the season with my twin sister, because we started together, but we couldn’t finish.”
Even though the buzzer is sounding on their basketball careers, they won’t forget what they learned and will be able to use that to further themselves in the future.