Reid Harrell Bennett, who had attended school at Lipscomb from kindergarten through high school, started her college softball career at Freed-Hardeman University. After a year she decided, for many reasons, it was time to come home to Lipscomb where she played softball for three more seasons. She spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played softball from 1999 to 2002. I was an outfielder.
"Sherry Dickens was my coach for one year. Amy Becker was the coach my final two years."
Why did you choose to play softball at Lipscomb?
"I was already dating Franklin Bennett (future husband), and he was at Lipscomb. I got a scholarship to play for Freed-Hardeman, but I wanted to be at Lipscomb. And Lipscomb gave me a scholarship so I transferred.
"I was a lifer at Lipscomb. I loved it. But I didn't know how much I loved it until I went away. Lipscomb is so unique that you can go away and come back and it still feels just like home. You can come back and already have a network of family and friends."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“Kelli Dobbins had a picture of Union’s catcher enlarged and made into yard signs before we played them in the district tournament. She put those yard signs with the enlarged picture in Jeff Spivey's yard and Amber Purtell's yard. Jeff was an assistant coach for softball. She wanted to get us fired up for the game.
“Lately, I have been listening to the same music we used to listen to back then on road trips like In Sync and Destiny’s Child. I remember being on those 15-person passenger vans and making Brian Butler (graduate assistant) or Andy Mankin (assistant coach), whoever was driving, listen to all of that music.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"John Hudy (Lipscomb strength and conditioning coach). I have never worked so hard. I knew then, and I definitely know now, that I was in the best shape of my life.
"He pushed us beyond what we thought we could possibly do. Our core, and every muscle that we had, he had a workout for it. He made me go up a couple of dress sizes in the sleeves."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"My appreciation for Nashville and Lipscomb. I didn't know I was a city girl until I went to Freed-Hardeman. I married Franklin while I was here. I only had my student teaching left to finish.
"I loved chapel and Bible classes. They were never like a burden for me. I always loved it."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“Candace McQueen told us in education classes to make friends with the custodian and keep your conversations about students and coworkers positive. I still try my best to remind myself of those two things each day that I go to work.
“Those two things have served me well. They have allowed me to be a light in my schools and bring joy to my schools. I focus on the positives of what we should be doing instead of the negatives.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Trish Hodgson. I was a health and physical education major. As my supervisor she would come and observe and critique once a week during student teaching. She want above and beyond. She was determined to make sure we learned everything we needed to learn to be prepared and successful. She was so kind in her criticism. I wanted to please her.
"She would put us in placements and our first reactions would be it is too far away and we don't want to go there. But she sent us to those places because she knew the teachers were excellent and she was right.
"Trish wouldn't let anything slip. She was on top of every detail. If you were turned one way, she would tell you to try to turn the other way as well when you were teaching. To this day, I still think about what Trish wanted me to.
“She taught me everything I needed to know to pass the Praxis test, one of the toughest teaching exams in my opinion. You have to pass it to be able to teach in Metro. I passed it on my first try and it is because of Trish. She taught us every skill in every sport.
Where do you live now?
"Crieve Hall, Tennessee."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I have been teaching for 13 years in Metro. Trish prepared me to be able to go anywhere.
"My first job was with Napier Elementary. It was the best thing that happened to me. I loved those kids so much. I am so grateful for the experience. Some of the other schools I have taught at are Buena Vista, Carter Lawrence and Inglewood.
"I teach physical education at Glengary Elementary. This my third year. I teach with Stephanie Lane (Lipscomb Hall of Famer as a tennis player and wife of Andy Lane,). I am a part-time P.E. teacher so I go wherever the students are. Stephanie is full-time. We both trained under Trish and we both have the same teaching styles. It is great working with her.
"I also do wood burning on the side. I do anything anybody wants, but it started with me doing one for our 10th anniversary. It takes hours to complete a project. I learned how to do it by watching videos on YouTube.
Tell us about your family.
"Franklin is my husband. We have been married 14 years. We have two daughters - Lane and Lauralee.”
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.