Bingham Lacrosse Captain Wins $20,000 Scholarship
Jun 10, 2016 09:50AM ● Published by Tori La Rue
Dallin Bentley, varsity lacrosse captain at Bingham High School, poses for a picture with a big fake check, his parents and a Footlocker representative after being awarded a $20,000 scholarship. – Tori La Rue
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By Tori La Rue | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallin Bentley got a surprise birthday present when representatives from Foot Locker showed up at Bingham High School and presented him with a $20,000 scholarship check during lunch on April 18.
“I’m shaking because I’m so excited,” Dallin said looking at the giant check. “I am honestly kind of overwhelmed a little bit. I am very excited. I feel very lucky. I feel very blessed. I feel very grateful.”
Out of more than 37,000 applicants, Foot Locker representatives selected Dallin, 18, as one of their 20 Scholar Athlete recipients for his strong academics and involvement in sports and community. He is the first student in Utah to be awarded the scholarship.
The 18-year-old is captain of the Bingham varsity lacrosse team—the highest ranked team in the state—has played for eight eight years, was voted MVP of the season and was given an honorable mention at All-State. He also wrestled at Bingham until his junior year, but said he quit the team his senior year to allow more time to serve the school as Bingham student body vice president of assemblies.
With the $20,000 scholarship, Dallin plans to continue his education at Brigham Young University in the fall and spring where he’ll also play on the lacrosse team before serving an LDS mission. He plans to return to BYU after his mission and resume his studies and lacrosse, he said.
“He plays a lot of lacrosse, keeps up his grades and doesn’t procrastinate,” Liz Smith, Bingham’s student government adviser, said. “He is such a hard worker who never backs down from a challenge and always stays positive. I’m just proud of him.”
Dallin said it wasn’t always easy for him to stay positive during his high school years. His sophomore year he was diagnosed with severe clinical depression.
“That’s something that I kind of overcame,” Dallin said. “I have really good friends and parents who have kept me doing things. I could have easily drifted away and just kind of turned into a little bit of a hermit, but they kept me involved.”
Staying busy with lacrosse and student government helped Dallin keep his mind active, he said. He said he invites people who are struggling with depression to get involved in their schools and communities to help them have more fulfillment in their lives.
“Sports taught me to finish everything, and that makes a difference,” he said. “You can’t just be on the field and decide to quit.”
Dallin applied for the Foot Locker scholarship and knew that he was one of the 50 finalists, but he didn’t know that he actually got the scholarship until the foot Locker representatives called him up to the cafeteria stage in front of his peers, coincidentally on his birthday.
“I knew something was a little off this morning because my mom kept saying to me as I was walking out of the house, ‘It’s going to be the best birthday ever,’ but I definitely didn’t expect this to happen,” Dallin said. “I am very lucky—$20,000 on my 18th birthday.”
Matt Bentley, Dallin’s father, said he and his wife were not 100 percent sure that Dallin would be awarded the scholarship, but said they had a haunch because Dallin was waiting back to hear from Foot Locker, and Bingham had invited them to come to the school for a “special presentation” and told them not to tell their son. When they walked into the door at Bingham and saw the Foot Locker representatives, their suspicions were confirmed.
“We’re really happy for him, because this will really help him pay for school,” Matt said. “He’s worked hard and he earned this scholarship. It really turned out to be the best birthday he could ever have asked for.”