Kadin Bennett said his junior year of high school went by fast. As a senior, he’s a kid with strong goals and his sights set on the future.


“I want to graduate with honors … hopefully getting all A’s (this year),” he said. He’s been looking at colleges already, hoping to commit to a D3 or D2 school, so he can continue playing football. “I love football,” he noted, adding that he also plays basketball and has done track in the past.


He’s in football right now and is the quarterback for the Spartans. As the quarterback and as a senior, he also said he’s trying to push his teammates to be their best.


One of his biggest mentors is football coach, Cory Crnkovich. “He’s young and we have the same interests. He’s huge into football, knows all about it,” Bennett said about why he and his coach connect.


Bennett admires that Crnkovich is strict in some ways. “He wants us to stay focused in school and do the right things. Be a leader,” he always tells the kids. “But he’s also got a fun side, and at practice, he likes to get involved in things with us.”


Learning the eight-man game has been a challenge for Collins-Maxwell since its split with Baxter. “It’s a more fast-paced game and has its challenges… getting kids to be leaders and be more vocal is the biggest challenge,” Bennett said.


In the classroom, Bennett said, it’s probably history and business classes that have been some of his favorites. “Our history teacher (Mr. Stover) here is pretty funny. He’s very interesting and has different ways of teaching. He likes to change things up.”


With business, Bennett took sports management and financial literacy with Miss Berry, who he said is no longer with the district. “She was a great teacher. I enjoyed those classes.”


Bennett came to Collins-Maxwell Schools when he was in first grade. He lives in Collins with his parents, Dana and Nick Denton. He said the small school setting has served him well.


“I think the smaller the school, the better chance you have to succeed in things. You get more opportunities,” he said. He has liked that he feels needed on his sports teams and has liked that he gets more one-on-one opportunities to connect with people.


When the breakup with Baxter happened, Bennett admits it was hard for him and others to think of splitting away from teammates they had gotten to know. But they all carried on in a positive spirit about it, he said, and noted he thinks it’s worked out well.


“[Our communities] have put everything into our school. Half the things we have (at this school) are because of our people. We (as students and athletes) just try to give as much back to them as we can.”


As he looks ahead, Bennett knows that he will miss his friends and teachers at Collins-Maxwell High School. But he believes he’s done the things he needed to do in high school to prepare him for the future.


“Sports are fun… but if you don’t get good grades, you aren’t getting into college. You have to keep your grades up.” And he’s done that.


His advice to underclassmen is to keep those grades up. But he elaborates a bit more. “Teachers may look like they’re not doing their best at times (for you) … but at the end of the day, you’ll come out of here with one of the best degrees ever, your diploma. At these small schools, teachers are always going to be here for you.”


He doesn’t mention teaching himself someday, but Bennett does mention that he might like to get a coaching endorsement in the future. He’s thought an awful lot about pursuing a degree in sports management and becoming an athletic trainer. “I love football. I hope to be around it in the future.”