Kimberly Benner, a new incoming freshman from Chino, California has earned herself a position on this year’s Women’s Vanguard Soccer team. Kim is a biology major and hopes to use her gifts and talents in the medical field after she graduates.
Soccer was not her only hobby growing up; Kim started playing when she was four years old and had her fair share of trying new things from hip hop, cheerleading, karate, and even acting. None of those activities seemed to stick with her however. Benner reflects on her active childhood, “although these were all fun and great experiences, I did not have the same love and passion as I did for soccer”.
Kim followed her desire to play and it worked out in her favor. She received Second Team All League her sophomore year and First Team All League her junior and senior year, as well as being her team’s MVP in 2016 at Don Antonio Lugo High School.
When asked why she chose to play at Vanguard she stated, “Vanguard was not my first option, I had many other schools that were options. I had never even heard of Vanguard until I received an email from Lauren Walker. She expressed that she had seen me play in a tournament and wanted me to go out to their ID camp.”
ID camps offer a chance for high schoolers to play with the current team. Kim says, “At the camp, I realized that I loved it right away. Everyone at Vanguard was so nice and welcoming and I instantly felt at home.”
Benner mostly plays as an attacking center mid. Her teammate Danyelle Allen says, “Kim is really good at stealing the ball and feeding it to our forwards perfectly every time.” Her speed and ability to hold onto the ball is a great asset to the team’s scoring opportunities.
So far, Kim says that, “the beginning of my freshman year has been a big adjustment. I think the hardest thing for me was moving away from home and not being able to depend on my parents for everything.” That is not the only thing that has been difficult for her- balancing school with a sport can seem like a full time job. Kim admits, “when I am not participating in soccer I am either doing homework or studying.”
Kim has set herself goals for this season athletically and spiritually. “My athletic goal for this season is to become a better player and teammate by the end of the season, not just physically but also mentally, and to know that I was a better person than who I was before I came into Vanguard.” God has worked in Kim’s heart by giving her gifts and talents to glorify Him on and off the field. She hopes that she will grow in her faith spiritually and she believes that, “every obstacle or challenge that may come in my way is another way for God to show that he is here wanting to make me a stronger person.”
The team is very grateful to have Kim as a teammate because she brings joy to practice and games while always keeping her head up. Kim explains how Vanguard is the place to be by saying, “there is no other University that I would want to attend other than Vanguard. I had made so many friends and sisters in Christ already.” We’re happy you are here too Kim.