ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Stanley-Boyd wrestler Brett Benson, a fighter on and off the mat

In this week's Gordy's Athlete of the Week, SportScene13's Jenn Chapman introduces us to Stanley-Boyd wrestler Brett Benson who is a fighter on and off the mat.

When those tough matches are close and say I go into over time or something I always put through my head that I've been through worse. And a minute of wrestling isn't going to affect what I've been through," says Benson.

Stanley-Boyd wrestler Brett Benson has fought a much bigger match off the mat when he battled childhood cancer. Diagnosed in first grade, Brett showed his warrior spirit, something that still shines through as the senior just notched his 100th high school wrestling win.

"I just want to be one of those guys that people are afraid of. Like I've always been the kid afraid of kids that are better than me. I want to be a kid that people are scared of out there," says Benson.

Brett wants to be viewed as a fierce competitor on the mat to his opponents, but to his teammates he is nothing short of an inspiration.

"You see him and he gets 100 wins and you see what he's went through when he was little, you just want to work hard so you can be like him," says teammate Sam Burzynski.

"I kind of look up to him, even though he's a smaller guy, but I look up to him and try to get all the drive he has and the motivation he has to everything he does," says teammate Chance Ciolkosz.

While the cancer took it's toll on Brett's body, his spirits were lifted when the Make-A-Wish foundation brought Brett to a Packers practice. The biggest surprise of all, meeting the man he was named after...Brett Favre.

"It just made my day. And I kind of forgot I even had cancer because it was just awesome," says Benson.

The surprises aren't over just yet, two key players in Brett's recovery want to congratulate him on his Athlete of the Week selection.

"We remember him as a little boy who fought against leukemia and he did a great job. He's doing well and I'm sure he fights all of his wrestling matches like he did his leukemia. He's a winner," says his childhood Dr. Michael McManus.

"I'm very proud of him. I actually went just once last year to watch one of his matches and it is amazing. He's a fighter, he's strong, but yet he's also kind, and I think he's a pretty good student too," adds Brett's RN Brenda Garrigan.

With the cancer in the rear view mirror, Brett's perseverance is showing others they can do it too. Coach Greg Burzynski knows all to well what Brett when went through as Greg's daughter was treated last year for brain cancer.

"Even for my daughter to see him coming back through and that he is okay. And for other kids to see that he is okay and that they can get through the journey, he can be a role model for them," says coach Burzynski.

Brett's never quit attitude is being passed down to his practice partners.

"Just because you're in pain doesn't mean you stop. Just because something is hard doesn't mean you don't quit. Because everything he went through was hard, everything for him was hard and you gotta get through that because there are going to be greater things at the end," says teammate Ryan Ponick.

"Just keep fighting. Don't get down on yourself. Stay positive. Talk to people if you need to, like your family. That's the biggest thing that helped me, my family and friends," adds Benson.


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