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Haskell coach prepares athletes for more than sports

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HASKELL, Texas - Summer conditioning for most high school athletes usually involves a lot of sweat, but at Haskell High School in Coach Grady Benton's weight room, what he expects is that his students communication through their actions.

Benton coaches the football team, and that philosophy was his final word to the students after workouts this morning.

"When you don't finish a drill, you're communicating something, and it's not something good," Benton said. "On the other side of that, when you finish a drill, you're also saying something, and it's something that you probably want to be communicating to coaches and teammates."

That message sticks with the kids, even off the field, and senior Chase Gibson agrees with it.

"I think communication is key," Gibson said. "We have a system where if you're not going to be here, communicate to one of the seniors and they'll tell the coaches. Communication is very important in our program."

If you were to ask other Haskell athletes, they would all say the same.

Benton is building strong athletes, but he's also building strong work ethic for his kids to use in season and after high school.

"To be successful, there are things it takes to win," Benton said."Winning is earned, and then when they get out in life, life is also earned, and you get what you deserve for the most part."

But Benton doesn't make it easy for the kids while they're on the field or in the gym.

Senior Krysta Winegeart laughed when reflecting on the 8am workout this morning. "Workouts are hard, it's hard, but when all of us come together, we have fun -- or as much fun as you can running and lifting weights," Winegeart said.

Gibson enjoys the workouts for the sense of community it brings. "It's something you look forward to, we get to compete every day and see our friends," Gibson said. "It's a good way to keep up with everybody and stay in shape while doing it and get ready for each season."

With every bench press, sprint, and water break, it's another day earned for Haskell athletes.

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