Reynolds hits the books and his opponents hard

Published 5:50 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

In his senior year at Bainbridge High School, 17-year-old Ben Reynolds has proven himself to be a true athlete and a scholar.

The son of Dr. John Reynolds and Jean Reynolds, Ben was recently featured in a “players spotlight” with his picture on the cover of In the Game—a south Georgia high school sports magazine.

As an athlete, Reynolds has devoted his time on the field and on the mat as a wrestler and a member of the Bearcats offensive line.

He said he enjoys the contrast between the team effort necessary on the football field and the one-on-one battle found on the wrestling mat.

“In wrestling, it’s just your fault,” Reynolds said. “It’s just you and another guy out there.”

He has played football since he was in the fourth grade. Now on the BHS varsity squad, he played at center until this year, when his coaches decided to move him to right guard.

“It’s fine by me; I like playing on the line,” Reynolds said. “I’ll play wherever they need me.”

Offensive line coach Blake Carruthers said the decision to move Reynolds was his increase in size over the summer.

“He’s got a great work ethic that has really brought him a long way,” Carruthers said.

He said Reynolds grades in the 70s each week, and he along with left guard Wiley Griffin are the real leaders on the line. Linemen are graded for their blocks, so anything over 70 is real good, coaches say.

Head football coach Ed Pilcher said he is one of the better lineman they have and Reynolds is having a good year.

“Ben is a very dedicated person, not just athletically, but academically. He has his priorities in line,” Pilcher said.

Wrestling since the seventh grade, Reynolds is now at the varsity heavyweight division. His coach David Kirkland has been with him for five years. Kirkland described Reynolds as a very devout student that excels in academics and sports. He said his excellence in academics translates over to sports, learning everything he can about the sports he plays.

“He is intense and hates to lose, but he doesn’t get angry on the mat,” Kirkland said. “He is the kind of athlete you hope for each year.”

Reynolds went to state in wrestling last year winning at Region. After state, where he unfortunately did not place, it was discovered he had a fracture in his shoulder. During the summer he had surgery on the injury, and Kirkland says he is now back to 100 percent.

“He should be in real good shape this year for wrestling in November,” Kirkland said.

As an athlete, he is the BHS male nominee for Wendy’s High School Heisman with the state semifinals coming up in a couple months.

Hitting the books

In addition to dominating on mat and offensive line, Reynolds has devoted much of his time to the books.

He is ranked No. 1 in his class with a 4.0 grade point average, putting him in the running to become valedictorian. Making all 95s and above, he is on the Principal’s Honor Role, president of the National Honor Society and a semifinalist to be a National Merit Scholar.

Reynolds says his favorite subject is science, and his most challenging subject is literature.

Reynolds is also involved as treasurer of the Key Club, an officer with the FCA and, on top of everything else, an Eagle Scout.

With graduation approaching, Reynolds has his eye on college. He said he is looking at a number of colleges including Harvard, Yale and Johns Hopkins.

“I’m looking at places I can go play football and get an excellent education at the same time,” Reynolds said.

With a bright future ahead, Reynolds plans on following in his father’s footsteps and going into medicine. He said he would like to become a medical pathologist or an orthopedic surgeon.

Taylor Seay can be reached by e-mail at taylor.seay@thepostsearchlight.com, or by telephone at (229) 246-2827, Ext. 113.