Q&A with Iowa Western CC Commit: '16 Brandon Bena, OF/1B, Creighton Prep

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By Brian Feekin
Prep Baseball Report Nebraska

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----Bena - brandonbena.jpgName: Brandon Bena
 6-foot-2, 210-pounds
High School: 
Creighton Prep

PBR: Why did you choose the school you did?
BENA: I chose Iowa Western Community college because I had 100% faith that it was the right fit for me. I took my visit to Iowa Western and had the chance to sit down and talk with Coach Rardin. His style of coaching and his priority of teaching his players life lessons through baseball is what intrigued me the most. I believe that Iowa Western will also give me the opportunity to play out my dream of playing high-level Division 1 baseball.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?
BENA: I was considering other schools such as North Dakota State, Nebraska, and West Point.

PBR: Where did the coaching staff first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?
BENA: The Iowa Western coaching staff first saw me play in the beginning of my Summer Legion 2015 season. I had a great spring and was continuing my success into the summer season when I first got a call from Coach Herbst at Iowa Western. He said that I had caught their interest and they would be watching me in the upcoming tournament called “The Gopher Classic.” After the tournament, I began receiving texts almost on a daily basis from the Iowa Western coaching staff. I truly felt wanted/needed at Iowa Western, and ended up verbally committing in the middle of the fall.

PBR: Do you feel relieved now that the process is over and you can just focus on baseball and not deal with everything that goes into picking a school?
BENA: I do feel very relieved that the process is now over. I have accomplished one of my goals of getting a college baseball scholarship, and now I can focus on winning another state title with my team in the Spring, Summer, and a trip to Shelby, North Carolina after winning a regional championship in Bismarck, North Dakota.

PBR: Was there one deciding factor that put your choice over the top?
BENA: The factor that put my choice over the top is that the coaching staff  made me feel needed at Iowa Western. With hard work and dedication, I could make an impact my freshman year and help them win a Junior College World Series.

PBR: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today?
BENA: I believe the two people that have helped me the most are Coach (Kurt) Shockey, who has been my hitting coach since I was 10-years old, and my Dad, Steve Bena. Coach Shockey has not only worked with my swing, but he has sharpened the mental side of baseball for me as well. My Dad is the person behind my work ethic and persistence. He is always there to remind me that hard work is going to continue to pay off and reiterate the phrase “You get out of it what you put into it.”

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easy/difficult?
BENA: When I was a freshman in high school and I saw all the seniors at Creighton Prep getting recruited, I thought it would be a blast. I was looking forward to teams contacting me and trying to get me to come to their school. However, at the time, I did not realize how much work that it really took to get to that point and how stressful it was to make a final decision. It was a lot more difficult than I expected.

PBR: What plans does the coaching staff have in store for you in your freshman season?
BENA: I am unsure what the coaching staff at Iowa Western has in store for me in my freshman season. I do know that Coach Rardin, the head coach, likes his hitters and guys that work their tail off in the weight room and show good character on and off the field. I believe I fit into that category and am looking forward to see what Iowa Western has in store for me.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?
BENA: My most memorable baseball moment is hitting a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the American Legion State Title during the summer of 2015. It is definitely something that I will never forget for as long as I live.

PBR: Who is the best player that you have competed against?
BENA: I have played against a lot of great players going through my high school career, but I believe that the best all-around player is Cole Stobbe. Cole and I played together when we were 14-years old and we parted ways when we left for high school. Playing against Cole isn’t the most enjoyable thing but I love to watch him battle at the plate whenever I get the chance. He’s a competitor and refuses to go down without a fight at the plate. I admire that.


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