Jake Benner – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Jake “The Terminator” Benner is a coach's dream. He started training at about 165lbs, through his hard work he’s transformed himself into a 210 lbs powerhouse in about 2 years. He’s one the most determined and hardest working athletes I’ve ever come across.

For the month of May, our First County Bank Athlete of the Month is 17 year old Jake Benner. Benner is easily a stand out amongst his peers, both in stature and what the young athlete has accomplished on and off the field. He earned this recognition long before the month of May but after a solid season for the Vikings the timing couldn’t have been better. We at B.V.S.A. were fortunate to see Benner develop over the past couple off-seasons, spending countless hours with B.V.T. Lab working hard with Renick and Mike. It was in the Lab where you could see the different motor in Benner and the effort he is willing to give to make even the most minor improvement day to day. Those “minor improvements” have been gaining forty pounds and getting not just stronger but faster and more agile. 

“Jake is one of our hardest working athletes. Ask Jake to jump and he says “how high coach”?! He’s the type of guy that comes in, puts his head down, and gets to work every single day with no questions asked. He always puts 110 percent effort into everything he does and it really showed not only in his progression in the weight room, but also on the field this spring. We could not be happier for Jake and his accomplishments and we are excited to see what comes next for this amazingly hard working athlete.”

This is apparent on the ball field if it be for practice or in the heat of a game. The infielder and pitcher is an exemplary leader no matter his performance and a player that his teammates can lean on throughout the season.

Benner is a player that can be relied upon on all sides of the ball; a big bat, with a solid glove and a strong arm on the mound. However it is his calm presence in any moment on the field at the plate, out in the field, or on the mound that raises his value to any of his coaches and teammates. This has been something that he has developed over a long period of time being a ball player. Benner has been playing since the age of 5 and fell in love with the game immediately. It was a perfect fit that was apparent and anybody in Stamford American could easily see as he played through Little League. Benner played for their 11U and 12U All-Star teams with early signs of being a dominant force. He then went on to play Stamford Legion for three years before finding his home with the Clubhouse in Fairfield. The now Junior Captain of the Westhill Vikings has also played basketball for the school in previous years as well but the diamond is where he excels the most. 

“Jake is one of the most talented, hardest working student-athletes to come through our program in years. He is 110% dedicated to everything he does regardless of what it is. In the class-room (4.5 GPA), the weight-room, or on the diamond you will not find a harder worker. Do not be fooled by his quiet and calm demeanor. On the field, he is a fierce competitor who will do whatever he can do to help us win. In my opinion, Jake is one of the best two-way players in the State. I am beyond thankful that he is on our team and we don't have to play against him!"

This made him an easy choice for the Ruden Report to nominate him for Player of the Week, which Benner ultimately won. However, it is with all this behind him as a ball player that will help him excel at the next level in the coming years.

The recognition is not just for his on-field or in the weight room work ethic because it doesn’t stop there for him. As stated above he has a 4.0 GPA and 4.5 weighted GPA. Benner also finds time to be involved with the Academy of Finance at Westhill with future plans to pursue a degree in business at a high academic institution. You can also see him spending a lot of his free time volunteering if it be with Stamford American for their winter workouts, Stamford North in their Challenger League, at the St. Leo’s Church or at Kids Helping Kids. It is simply impressive what he has been able to accomplish and do not just for himself but so many others in such a short period of time. 

We were happy and excited to be able to recognize Benner with this honor of FCB Athlete of the Month. Looking forward to seeing another year of hard work in BVT and what he will be able to achieve on the field but in his personal life as well. 

Congratulations and keep striving to best yourself each and every day because few are as hardworking, dedicated, and determined as you are. It will be a fun ride the next few years to see it all unfold.

2021 Statistics:

Offensive – .510 AVG, .576 OBP, 1.059 SLG, 25H, 8 2B, 1 #B, 5 HR, 18 R, 22 RBI, 5 SB,  

Pitching – 17.1 IP, 2 W, 2L, 2Saves, 7ER, 2.82 ERA, 4 BB, 34K


      • Academy of Finance Member – 2019 to present
      • Extracurricular Activities:
      • Westhill High School Varsity Baseball – 2020-present, named Captain Spring 2021
      • The Clubhouse Baseball – Elite baseball club providing top notch baseball instruction to aid in player development and college recruitment – National Team (2019-2020), Prospect Team (2020-Present)
      • Westhill High School Bee Club Member – Present (2021-2022) – Provide bees with shelter and harvest honey to be sold for funding school-based programs
      • Westhill High School Kids Helping Kids Club Member – Present (2021-2022)
      • Westhill High School Freshman Baseball Captain – 2019
      • Stamford Recreational Basketball League – 2019 Season
      • Westhill High School Freshman Basketball – 2018 Season – Coaches Award Recipient
      • Stamford Legion Baseball – 2017-2019 – MVP Award Recipient 2018, Coaches Award Recipient 2017
      • Stamford American Little League – 2009-2016

Volunteer Work:

      • Stamford Challenger Little League – Spring 2021 – Provide baseball instruction to players with special needs and assist with coaching games.
      • Stamford American Little League – Volunteered at winter work out clinics to aid in the development of young baseball players – Winter 2020
      • St. Leo’s Annual Church Fair – Summers 2016-2018 – Assisted with Fair set-up and breakdown; worked various game booths.
      • St. Leo’s Annual Clothing Drive – 2017 – Organized clothes to be provided to the Covenant House for under privileged families.
      • Clothes to Kids of Fairfield County – 2017-2018 – Organized and stocked the store floor to help ensure that the clothing needs of students visiting the store are met and to make the shop a welcoming place for families.
      • Still Meadow Elementary School – Volunteered at family fundraising events – organized events and assisted children with various sport competitions – Spring 2017 & 2018
      • The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County – Volunteered throughout 2017 & 2018 – Sorted donated food items and stocked shelves

Work Experience:

      • Peak Performance Sports Camp CIT – Summer 2019 – Taught young children various sports such as soccer, basketball, and baseball
      • Stamford American Little League Junior Umpire – 2018 & 2019 Seasons & hopefully 2021!
      • Awards/Accomplishments:
      • The Ruden Report Player of the Week for outstanding baseball performance – April 2021
      • Westhill Varsity Baseball Captain – Spring 2021 to present