Stetson Bennett – a champion
January 17, 2022
By Dr. Hal Brady
Stetson Bennett, IV is the College Football National Champion Georgia Bulldogs’ quarterback and a heartwarming lesson in determination. As you know, Stetson played football at Pierce County High School and was a lightly-regarded two-star quarterback upon graduation. In reality, he had a couple of small colleges interested in him, but, as a boy, Stetson dreamed of playing quarterback at the University of Georgia. So, at this point, Stetson chose the less-glamorous route of becoming a walk-on at Georgia. The first year he was red-shirted and became the quarterback of the scout team. The next year he transferred to a junior college in Mississippi where he helped his team win the conference title. While considering playing in Louisiana, he was offered a scholarship to Georgia by Coach Kirby Smart. Stetson spent the next year at Georgia serving as the back-up quarterback behind Jake Fromm, now a New York Giants player. Stetson played in five games. Then came this year and Stetson was still the back-up and down on the depth chart of the Georgia quarterbacks. But, as you are aware, the lead quarterback got hurt, Stetson received his chance, and the rest is a National Championship for Georgia, the first in 41 years. But in addition to all Stetson’s efforts to play quarterback, he also had to deal with the multiple doubters off and on field as to whether he had the ability, talent, and size to play quarterback at Georgia.
The other night during the Championship game Stetson proved a resounding yes! It was only fitting that he received the offensive player of the game. Now, I don’t know Stetson Bennett personally, only that he is 23 years old and a celebrated Georgia quarterback, and I am a fan. However, I would like to point out several things we might learn from his life and experience.
First, dreams are important! And this goes way beyond football. The New Testament tells us that part of the salvation process is to be saved from aimlessness, to get ourselves organized around some great dream or purpose or vision. So, what we need in our lives is some master passion, some supreme loyalty to hold our scattered selves together, to give us direction and to make our lives meaningful.
Second, believe in yourself! Countless people who have learned how to keep going report that at least one of the ingredients for endurance is the understanding of the meaning of one’s life. These people believe that every life has a purpose. They know that none of us can do everything but that all of us can do something. They believe in themselves.
Third, determination is vital! My mother-in-law worked her way through college – she worked in the kitchen, cleaned restrooms, and did a variety of other jobs. Then she began to teach and attended the university at a distant city on weekends. She earned her degree and then taught for 39 years. Then there were those illnesses. She had a brain tumor, open heart surgery, the balloon surgery, a stroke, and a number of other surgeries. But all the time her determination to keep going and quiet endurance made the difference in her life’s purpose. As she once said, “Determination or endurance is not really about being happy but rather about being committed and faithful.”
Fourth, be a team player! Study your Bible! The Bible is not the story of solitary figures. The Bible is the story of Moses and Aaron, Paul and Barnabas, Ezra and Nehemiah, Ruth and Esther, Mary and Martha … the list is endless. As it has been pointed out, teamwork is even a feature of the very nature of God. What is the Trinity? We worship a God who is one in three. The thing that seems to make the champion Georgia Bulldogs and Stetson Bennett great is that they were a team with a purpose.
I’ll close with Stetson’s words in one of his last night’s interviews concerning the victory. He stated, “I hope it gives someone hope. Keep your mouth shut, work hard. Life is tough. Work through it.” Stetson Bennett – a champion!
Dr. Hal Brady is a retired pastor who continues to present the Good News of Jesus Christ and offer encouragement in a fresh and vital way though Hal Brady Ministries (halbradyministries.com).