Senior Christian Benvenuto stars in football and soccer for Matanzas High School.
Christian Benvenuto was a soccer player. But it was Labor Day during his freshman year at Matanzas High School that changed the shape of the ball he kicks.
The junior varsity coach at MHS — who is no longer there — told Benvenuto’s dad, Tony, who was the boys soccer coach at the time, to bring Christian out to kick some footballs.
He’s been kicking for the Pirates ever since. And, he might have been their secret weapon the past three seasons. Bevenuto was recognized as Flagler County School District’s Athlete of the Month for November by the Rotary Club of Flagler County.
By his sophomore year, he was the starting varsity kicker. During his junior season, he was named Seco n d -Te a m All-Area and was selected for the All- Conference team. He also received the Iron Pirate award, which is for the hardest working player in the weight room. He earned Woody’s Player of the Game and also Golden Corral’s Special Teams Player of the Game.
He also owns the third-longest (40), second-longest (46) and first-longest (48) field goals in the Flagler/Volusia area his senior season. His career-long is 49 yards, but he said he can hit from 60-plus yards in practice.
He’s garnering looks from numerous college programs, and he has an official visit to Georgia State University next month.
He said he’s not sure where he wants to go yet, but he definitely wants to kick at the next level.
Benvenuto also plays on the MHS soccer team. As a sophomore, he was named Second-Team All-Area and led the Pirates in assists. Last season, he made the All-Conference team.
He also excels off the field. He owns a 3.4 weighted grade point average and also gives back to the community. He volunteers weekly at a local church.
In June 2010, he went on a mission trip with his church to Guatemala and worked in a malnutrition clinic, assisted with soccer clinics and helped refurbish a church. “I used to be doing those activities when I was at that age, and I always thought how it was really cool that high school kids would come back to help out,” Benvenuto said.
In college, he plans to major in communications or education, though he said he’s currently leaning toward communications.