Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grant Besse Staying at Benilde

Grant Besse celebrating a Red Knight goal. Photo
courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio.
I know it's a bit late, the news came out a couple days ago. Grant Besse, the junior who wrote his name into the history books after a five goal state championship game, has decided he will spend his senior season playing at BSM for the Red Knights. Before the state title game, Besse had 48 goals on the year. I thought to myself, "With a good game, he could reach 50." Not only did he do that, he scored all five goals as BSM won their first Class AA State Championship. One might assume Besse had a few garbage goals or lucky deflections, but all five of his goals were pretty, showing his shooting ability, and patience to beat Hill-Murray goaltender John Dugas on his second goal. Besse has totalled over 100 points already with a season to go, he is committed to Wisconsin, and after his state tournament performance, there doesn't seem like much left to prove. Like many elite players, Besse had the option to leave home after his junior year, and go play junior hockey. A mature decision for a young man to make, Besse decided he will stick around for his senior season and play with his "brothers", as he called his teammates. I understand certain players situations, where they are elite players playing for a small-town team and play against mediocre competition at best, leaving to play junior hockey. Besse my not play in the best conference, but their non-conference and Holiday Tournament schedule is as good as any. Also, BSM will play an independent schedule next season, increasing the strength of their competition. I admire Besse's decision to stick around with his teammates even though other opportunities present themselves to him. It shows his loyalty to his school and his team. Elite players like Besse, in my opinion, have nothing to lose by playing another season when they play on a good team. Besse will likely put up big numbers again next season, but will be playing better competition during the regular season, and will be experiencing  his senior year with his friends and teammates. I hope that his decision may influence other top players to stay, and contend for a state tournament berth for their team. Originally intended to come in at Wisconsin in 2014, Besse said his scholarship may be reevaluated and he may enter as a true freshman in 2013 regardless of him staying in high school for his senior year. He may not have anything left to prove in high school hockey, but perhaps he wants another crack at the coveted state title.

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