A big part of Tewksbury is Football. Especially at this time of the year. You can't be part of Tewksbury and not be a fan of or at least know about Tewksbury High School Football in some way. When I had this idea to write an article about it, I didn't know where to go. I asked around and was initially thinking about writing about one of the high school coaches. Then more and more people told me about this kid. This amazing high school senior that is trying to get into college, working two jobs and is on the football team, well I knew who I was going to talk to. His name is Billy Bennett. He is # 51 of our home team. A solid rock of TMHS football. I am pleased to introduce all of you to him.
Hollie Gonzalez - Tell us about yourself
Billy Bennett - I'm 18. I live at home with my parents, and two younger brothers. Christian is 16 and Jonah is 10. I have been in Tewksbury my whole life. I am currently a senior at Tewksbury Memorial High School.
HG - What are some of your subjects nowadays as a senior?
BB - I take AP Government, Statistics, Modern US History and Guitar. You get a little more flexibility as a senior as long as you have met all of your school requirements through out high school. My favorite subject is history.
HG - What extra curricular activities do you participate in?
BB - Football, and I do the shot put in the Spring and Winter track programs.
HG - I hear that you are keeping two jobs. Tell us.
BB - I work at Tedeschi's on Main Street and also I work at Main Street Pizza. I am saving for college, but I have had to use my earnings to pay for some car repairs as well.
HG - That seems like a pretty busy schedule. How do you balance it all?
BB - I get up and go to school, then go to football practice right after, usually till about 4:30 or 5:00, then I go to work. Homework is done when I come home from work. School always come first, but is last in my day. The two places I work at are really good to me when it comes to my scheduling. They know I might have a late practice or game, or heavy homework. They always work around my schedule for me.
HG - What is the hardest thing about being a senior?
BB - For sure the college process. It is a lot of work. The essay for the college boards is the hardest part. It is how you present yourself to colleges. That takes the most time and concentration. The guidance counselors at school really help with that process which makes it a little easier.
HG - What would you call the easiest part about being a senior?
BB - You know the teachers better. You have an easier time getting along with them and they show you more respect, especially with the college process.
HG - What is something you think you learned being a senior now?
BB - Being a little older and a little wiser. I know to think before I act and that it will effect the junior classmen.
HG - Let's talk football
BB - I love football. I play right tackle on offense and defensive tackle on defense. All of our practices are held at Doucette Field over by the Ryan School. Practice is everyday.
HG - How hard is practice?
BB - It is a lot of work and effort and dedication. There are individual skills and then team/team practice. That is when you play mock situations with your teammates. There are a lot learning plays and tackling drills. You have to learn a lot of the plays to. That is probably one of the hardest parts about playing football in high school. it is not just get out there and run and tackle. It is a lot of mental stuff too.
HG - I remember there used to be a huge Tewksbury/ Wilmington Thanksgiving day rivalry. Does that still exist?
BB - Oh yeah! This year it is in Tewksbury. We all look forward to that every year.
HG - How about the Superbowl? Do you have your sights on that this year?
BB - Of course we do, but we have a lot of work to do to get there. It is at Gillette Stadium. It is very intense. Right now we are 6-1. We are also looking forward to the Andover and Central Catholic games. They are good teams and always make for a good game.
HG - How long have you been playing and what is your favorite part about football?
BB - I have been playing since I was about 8 or 9 years old. My friends played and all told me that I should try it. I did and I was hooked. I have been playing ever since. My favorite part about football is the team aspect of it. You make a lot of friends and the coaches are really great. I have a lot of respect for them. Brian Alyward, Paul Norton, Coach Steve Kaz, and Tommy and Mark Bradley, they are awesome. They really invest a lot of time and effort into us kids. It is an extension of my family.
HG - Where do you want to go to college and what do you want to be?
BB - My number one choice is Northeastern in Boston. I want to be a high school History teacher.
HG - What advice would you tell all the younger kids who are thinking about playing football?
BB - Don't be scared. Once you do it, it will be a lot of fun. After all the hard work, and effort, it will be something you will remember forever.
HG - What do you like most and least about Tewksbury?
BB - I like knowing everybody. You know all your friends from school, meet their families and parents all over town. Some days you can drive down the street and wave to 20 people. It is a small town and you get to know a lot of it really quickly. Least, I don't like how conservative it is.
HG - What is one thing you think all our readers would be surprised to know about you?
BB - I listen to Heavy Metal music. It is great for working out and practicing and it gets you pumped. (He likes Metallica folks!)
Out of the mouth of our future teacher. I learned that some passions begin at a young age and really blossom into a lot more than just a sport or game. Here you have an 18 year old high school senior studying, preparing for college, playing football every day of the week, and working two jobs. This is America. This is Tewksbury. This is a kid that we should be proud of. It takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. His family is a really big supporter of all he does, and they can be found on the sidelines of his games cheering for him, Billy Bennett, #51 and the rest of the team. Go Tewksbury!
Quick 5 - Billy Bennett
Nickname - Squatch ( believe me, it's perfect...)
Who would star as you in a TV movie? - Michael Cudlitz of the Walking Dead ( again, believe me, it's perfect..)
Hamburgers or hot dogs - hamburgers
Go to Snack - Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
What one thing would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island? - a flare gun
(Hollie Gonzalez lives in Tewksbury with her husband and two kids. She is very passionate about her town.)
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