The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Flag Runner Connor Benyo ’16 Shows Dedication to Football Team


A rush of silence takes the stands as the fans anticipate the home football team’s emergence from a cloud of smoke. But before the mass of orange and white players takes the field, Connor Benyo ‘16 enters. Carrying a large orange, black, and white flag with the Warrior emblem, Benyo sprints across the sideline.

It is all about spirit,” mother Sue Benyo said. “He loves [running the flag] , and his goal is to make sure that when he runs out with the team at the beginning and third quarter that he runs faster than they do.”

As Benyo runs across the field, the crowd goes wild, cheering as their Warrior Nation flag flies fast and high and proud.

“I enjoy the atmosphere of the game,” Benyo said, “and how when I run the flag down the field the fans go crazy.”  

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Benyo began running the flag during his freshman year. Inspired by his older brother on the football team, Benyo wanted to share the rush of taking the field. However, he could not play football because he already played lacrosse. The compromise: becoming the flag bearer.

“He took this on and has made it his,” Ms. Benyo said. “Making sure that he is at every game, leaving lacrosse practices early because he knows how important it is to the players and fans that we show our spirit and that we are the Warrior Nation.”

Three years ago, there were nine flags: the largest Warrior Nation flag, and then eight others that spelled out the word ‘Warriors’. Over the years, however, the number of flag runners dwindled down to only one: Benyo.

I kind of wish there were more kids running the flags,” Benyo said, “so I wouldn’t feel as lonely.”

As the remaining flag bearer, Benyo has to travel with the varsity football team to all home and away games. His dedication has not been ignored.

“It’s really awesome that he’s stuck it out with us even though we’ve had a rough season,” Beau Brown ‘17 said. “It really means a lot that he’s still running the flags, and it really shows his commitment to the team.”

However, Benyo graduates in spring of 2016, leaving behind an ambiguous fate for the flag tradition. Benyo’s mother hopes that other students will step to represent the school’s spirit.

The Warrior Nation Spirit flags should not become [a forgotten tradition],” Ms. Benyo said. “It would be great [for Connor] to come back as an alumni next year and see the entire set of nine flags being run at every game.”

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Emily Chang
Emily Chang, Executive Editor
Hi, I’m Emily, and I’m the Executive Editor of the Westwood Student Press. I love reading and designing, and I hate avocados. I always have music playing in the background, whether I’m doing homework or taking a nap. I drink a lot of water, and consequently I invest of a lot of energy into decorating my Nalgene bottle with pretty stickers. I weed out my fake friends by making my birthday incorrect on Facebook so only the fake friends wish me a happy birthday on my fake birthday. My favorite book is The Secret History by Donna Tartt; it’s a book about friends killing friends for the sake of the Aesthetic™. So it goes. 

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