Benchwarmers: How they show so much dedication?

Benchwarmers’ is not a term anyone at the Piedmont College Athletic Department uses to express a student athlete sitting on the bench and not playing. Instead, the coaches see all players as positive contributors towards the program.

“The way our coaches do things, they don’t consider anyone a ‘benchwarmer’ because around here everyone makes a positive contribution towards our program,” said Jim Peeples, director of intercollegiate athletics.

What you can find in the majority of our sports at Piedmont is even if someone doesn’t find themselves in the starting lineup from day to day, they will still get those opportunities in the future. Whether that be in practice or during a game, everyone in the team gets involved to support each other.

“They are a big part of the team when it comes to practice, because we are all fighting for the starting spot,” said men’s lacrosse midfielder, Josh Fraley. “ My teammates bring the work ethic out of me and I’m thankful for that.”  

The focus is not just playing, but being there for your teammates when you’re not playing.

“Especially in our women’s program, since most (teams) in the USA South Conference don’t have the large rosters we do,” Peeples said. “But we do consider the fact that those athletes do work hard as well as us.”

“The coaches defenitley encourage a positive energy,” said women’s lacrosse attacker Macey Higgins. “If you are on the sideline, you’re not silent. You’re involved in hyping up your teammates to get the best out of each other.”

The home games at Piedmont are certainly a must and if you don’t show up your missing out on the fun. COVID-19 has caused a temporary halt of fall sports, but Peeples said getting back on campus has been a huge plus for athletes.

“I want to go ahead and thank President Mellichamp, Dr. Crawford, and everyone for working so hard over the summer,” he said. “To have this opportunity to be back on campus is amazing, and there were a lot of people involved in getting us back to being face to face.”

The extended offseason also allows an opportunity for athletes — even those who are nonstarters — to get some extra opportunity for practice.

“When in doubt hit practice with pace and success comes from failure, “ said men’s basketball guard Ryan Hanson.

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