There are 100 reasons why one local group thought Richmond Hill High School baseball coach Stacy Bennett was more than a good coach and decided to surprise him at the latest home game.
Bennett recently led the team to their 100th win and the Home Run Association decided to honor his leadership with $100 in the form of a framed plaque of 100 dollar bills.
RHHS Athletic Director Mickey Bayens presented the plaque at home plate after sharing a little about Bennett with spectators.
In true Wildcat fashion, the players let out their signature cheers as they joined game watchers in applauding the coach.
“He is a great coach and mentor to these boys and puts so much time into this program, so it was a well-deserved honor,” HRA member Karen Becker said.
Coach Bennett said he had no idea what was going on.
“Once Mr. Bayens started talking, I put it together,” Bennett said. “And what an awesome experience to get to share with so many great people.”
He was wowed by the waist-high plaque with players’ signatures signed in marker on the back.
“Once it started sinking in, there was a lot of flashback memories of past players and memories. It was great to spend that moment with the people who actually won those games, the players and assistant coaches who work so hard for our program.”
Becker explained the group had been planning the surprise for about a week.
“We knew we wanted to do something that he would keep and remember, so one of our board members suggested $1 per win. And then, I said, ‘Let's put it in a frame, so he can always remember it,’” Becker said, adding how she and her husband, Ron, spent about five hours putting it together.
This is Bennett’s seventh year as coach.
“I get those wins on my record, but I have very little to do with it,” Bennett said of the wins. “Players win games.”
He zeroed in on what he most liked about being a coach.
“Watching players grow and mature – hands down, the best thing,” Bennett said. “I also love to compete, so watching players overcome adversity in pressure situations is awesome.
Bennett also teaches Business Education at RHHS.
His wife, Elizabeth and their sons, Brody and Carson, also joined in the presentation.