Benchwarmers more than sitting ducks


Rose Heppner, Staff Writer

They are the perfect attendees to every basketball game; they cheer the team on, encourage the players on the court and love the sport they are able to spectate.

They are not the fans that fill the Dog Pound or the parents who hope their sweet pea doesn’t break an ankle.

They are known as the benchwarmers, and two of Notre Dame Prep’s most notable are Lauren Safford and Will Borders.

Safford is a senior athlete for NDP’s Varsity Girls’ Basketball while Borders is a senior athlete for NDP’s Varsity Boys’ Basketball.

Both Safford and Borders average a playing time of 0-30 seconds per game and score on average a half point per game. Safford added, “I have scored one point the entire season, so you do the math.”

Negative stigma often surrounds benchwarming, and starter for NDP’s Varsity Girls’ Basketball, Lauren Loven, believes there are no pros to being a benchwarmer. She can not envision herself on the bench for more than two minutes and said, “I want to help the team win.”

Loven, averaging twenty-eight points per game, certainly is a necessary component in her team’s victory. It comes as no surprise that she not only hopes to start, but needs to start.

However, the stress and pressure that comes with being a consistent starter does not fall on Safford or Borders’ shoulders. In fact, they are able to watch a sport they love without worrying that the outcome of each game rides on their performance on the court.

“It’s kind of stressful to go in and possibly ruin things for the whole team,” Safford said,  “I don’t want to lose for everyone and [have] them get mad at me. “

The only requirement a benchwarmer has is to attend practice and be supportive of his or her team. Borders commented, “I hype the other players up so they’re ready to go.”

“You get a varsity letter while riding the bench and not doing any work,” Safford said. Perhaps there are more perks to being a benchwarmer than those who average thirty minutes of playing time per game.

Safford also describes life on the bench as being “relaxing and laid-back.” It seems as if benchwarming is equivalent to buying courtside seats to your favorite team; all the action happens at your feet and you possess no responsibility for the success or failure of the game.

However, there are some apparent down sides of benchwarming. “It’s a lot of commitment, I show up to every practice and every game, and get nothing out of it,” Safford commented.

Even with the diminished stress, benchwarmers are still required to maintain the same obligations as their fellow team members. Why is it then that Borders and Safford love their time on the bench?

Well, Borders is able to talk with cheerleaders while Safford occupies her free time chatting with fellow teammates. Furthermore, they both love the sport they have the privilege of watching.