By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.—Dayton’s Benji Hudson can be pretty emotional as an athlete. The Pirates student-athlete wears it on his sleeve like a badge of honor almost through the good times and the bad times in the heat of battle.
It’s a passion for the game, brings out character points out Hudson and in a way that leads right into leadership as the Dayton senior picked up First-Team All-State and First-Team All-Conference selections this past season.
“I think it shows a lot of character. It shows my passion in the game, how bad I really want things,” Hudson said. “It shows my passion for the game. It shows how hard I work, the whole team works. It’s big.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been an athlete. Sports have been my whole life. Throughout my high school career, sports have been there for me whenever I really need them. Leadership role, it’s something nice to have and standing up for my guys and leading my teams. It’s awesome.”
Wednesday evening had Hudson sitting in the new gym at Dayton High School, preparing and signing his Letter of Intent to play college soccer at Southwestern Oregon Community College of the NWAC South Region. Something that’s been a longtime coming knowing his long history with the sport of soccer.
Starting since he was in kindergarten there was a stretch that he didn’t play the sport when he was in middle school before he returned when he got to High School. The love of the sport was what has drove Hudson to this point as he began his next chapter of his playing career.
“To be able to play at the next level is crazy. It’s super exciting and it means the world to me,” Hudson said. “Just keep working hard and show the coaches down there what I’m really capable of. I hope that they can put enough trust in me to do what I have.”
SWOCC went 1-11 this past season and reached the NWAC Quarterfinals in 2019 and won the NWAC South Region Title in 2018.