Bennett well-adjusted in Quebec
Zachary Bennett turning heads in Quebec
Bay Roberts’ Zachary Bennett is having success at Bishop’s College School in Sherbrooke, Que. He is holding good grades in school and was bumped to the varsity squad hockey team after just one month with the school’s prep team.
There are times when Bay Roberts’ Zachary Bennett does not have event a spare moment to think about home while attending Bishop’s College School.
He’s up at 7 a.m. every morning when he gets ready and heads to class at the prestigious school in Sherbrooke, Que. From the moment he gets to the school, Bennett is in constant motion.
He takes classes until the afternoon followed by hockey practice, and then he hits the gym. If that wasn’t enough, Bennett has to study at night.
For the times when he feels a bit homesick, he leans back in the dark chair located in his dorm room and gazes at the bul- letin board on the wall above his desk. There he finds pictures from home.
There he sees his cousins, his friends and his parents looking back at him.
“It’s nice to have,” said Bennett. “It gives you that feeling of home. It makes it a lot easier.”
If that wasn’t enough, he rooms with fellow Newfoundlander Liam Leonard of Clarenville. Coincidentally, Bennett and Leonard played together at the provincial AAA bantam level with the Tri Pen Ice.
“It’s great to see a friend here,” he said. “There’s a comforting feeling there. The first week was the toughest. You just count down the days until you’re home.”
Bennett arrived at Bishop’s College School in early September with aims of turning his ability on the ice into a quality education. By all accounts, the young man is doing just that.
Through three months, Bennett is keeping good grades, has put himself on the effort list, which is a form of hall pass that allows you to study wherever you like, and is working towards the bronze Duke of Edin- burgh award by doing school tours with prospective families.
“I really enjoy it because it’s nice to meet all of the new people and potential students that could be one of your friends next year,” said Bennett. “When you’re working at school, it’s OK. School is tougher here. French is a struggle, but I’m getting the hang of it.”
Prep to varsity
Arriving on campus, Bennett profiled as a defenceman with the school’s prep team. With his big shot, ability to handle the puck and make the first pass out of his zone, he moved up the depth chart and was named an assistant captain on the prep team.
“I didn’t expect to get a letter,” he said. “Especially not in my first year when others had been here four years. It was awesome. I was excited to play prep.”
Speaking of big shots, the sixfoot, 190 pound youngster snapped three sticks — two of which were his own — during his first weekend with the team.
“It’s kind of my calling card,” Bennett said with a laugh. He snapped 14 last season with the Ice. “That’s my trademark.”
However, staying with the prep team full time wasn’t in the cards. A month after skating with the prep squad, Bennett was bumped to the varsity or under-18 team.
“It’s a lot of hockey,” he said. “I didn’t expect to be bumped up so quick.”
“We’re obviously excited to have Zack,” said Bishop’s coach Mike Couch. “He’s been a standout at the u-16 level. He plays to the level of competition.
“It’s a feather in his cap. He brings good leadership.”
A full toolbox
Couch sees Bennett as having a complete arsenal of skills on the ice.
“He is an elite-level talent,” said the coach. “His toolbox is full with all kinds of stuff. He has the heavy shot, his puck skills. At a young age, everyone wants to be flashy and sometimes kids have to understand that less is more … I think challenging Zack with the older group has really simplified his game and has made him a better defenceman and more reliable and more dependable because it’s simpler.”
What might be most impressive is Bennett’s ability to handle himself in all situations.
“(Zack) has a level of maturity. It’s just the way he handles himself on and off the ice. He handles himself very well.”
Being at Bishop’s is not just about the hockey and the topnotch schooling for Bennett. He looks at the adventures he’s been afforded just by being a part of the team.
There have been tours of professional and college rinks while on tournament trips with the team.
“It’s the adventures you get to take that are pretty cool,” he said.
Bennett was driven before getting to Bishop’s and continues to be since his arrival there. The tours of the big rinks have only further motivated him to reach his full potential.
“I told the boys, ‘ Imagine playing here when this place is full of fans?’ You look around and say, ‘I want this.’
“I want every piece of it.”
Bay Roberts’ Zachary Bennett is already playing with the varsity team at Bishop’s College School in Sherbrooke, Que.
Zachary Bennett is shown in action with Bishop’s College School earlier this year.