Bobcat standout Devin Bowling during practice Tuesday in Benson.

People who know Benson High School junior Devin Bowling recognize him as a dedicated athlete who continually works hard to improve his skills. For Bowling, putting in that extra time to advance his athletic abilities is part of the enjoyment he gets from playing sports.

“Playing football and basketball are just fun for me,” Bowling said. “I work hard to do my best and continually get better. I’ve never played for the fame. I like to play sports and compete with my friends. Most of us have competed together since we were in elementary school. We are like family.”

Bowling has gone to Benson schools since he was in kindergarten. He has competed in football and basketball since elementary school. This year he will be taking on a third sport, track and field; he hopes to compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and the long jump.

Bowling has competed as a running back and a linebacker for the Benson High School Bobcats football team for three years. He has earned several awards, including all-region first team linebacker his sophomore year, all-region first team running back and regional offensive player-of-the-year this year, and all-2A conference state second team running back last season, when the ‘Cats were the 2A state football runners-up.

“Devin is a hard-working athlete with a good work ethic,” Benson varsity football coach Chris Determan said. “He does what it takes in the weight room and working out to continually improve.”

Bowling is competing on the Bobcats’ varsity boys basketball team as a shooting guard. His coach, Chris Taylor, appreciates the same qualities in Bowling that were mentioned by Determan. The determination and work ethic he showed as a member of the Bobcats football team is now evident on the basketball court.

“Devin is a super-tough athlete who always works hard at practices and in games,” Taylor said. “He is a wonderful Bobcat athlete and a huge part of our varsity basketball team. He embodies what Benson kids are like — good people doing good things.”

Bowling has strong beliefs in what it takes to be a good athlete and teammate.

“I think athletes need to work hard at practices and in the games to stay competitive,” he said. “They need to be team players, stay positive and be consistent.”

Helping Bowling with the goals he has set for himself and his teams, in addition to his coaches and teammates, are his mother, Renee, and his stepfather, Albert Rigney, both Benson High School alumni. They agree that Devin is a great son who is respectful and a hard worker.

“We have always taught our kids to stay positive and respect others, to stay humble and not act like they’re better than anyone else.” Albert Rigney said. “We want them all to take the right path to success.”

Devin’s mother appreciates the positive qualities she sees in her son.

“Devin is always willing to help others,” Renee said. “He is not only a great student but he is a great son. As an athlete, Devin is always trying to find ways to improve his skills and to help his teammates. In everything he does he gives it his all.”

It is the positive guidance he gets from his mother that is a motivating factor in Devin Bowling’s life.

“My mom works hard every day as an ICU nurse,” he said. “She does everything she can to keep us healthy and to give us the opportunity to play sports. She is my role model.”

With his senior year still ahead of him, Bowling is starting to look to the future and his career goals. He plans to go to college to study sports medicine, a field that will keep him active in athletics. And, if given the opportunity, he would like to play college football.


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