Bristols Peter Benevides reaches goals on pitch, in classroom
KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 12, 2002 -- Most Rhode Island high school athletes only dream about making the jump to play for a major college team.
Not only has Bristols Peter Benevides been able to play for the University of Rhode Islands nationally-ranked mens soccer team, he has also had the opportunity to shine on the pitch and in the classroom.
And the good news for coach Ed Bradley and Benevides teammates is that although he is earning his bachelors degree in accounting in May, he has one more season of eligibility.
Last season as the Rams captured the Atlantic 10 Conferences regular season championship, Benevides played in 15 games, notching four goals and four assists. He had two game-winning goals, and he was named a co-captain for next fall along with teammate Ross Smith. One of his most important tallies came in a 2-1 win over perennial archrival Brown.
"Peter is definitely a success story," Bradley said, adding that Benevides had a shaky academic start at URI along with an injury in his freshman year, forcing him to redshirt.
The deans list student is planning to enroll in graduate school at URI.
"Its a great story about a student-athlete who got hurt, had to redshirt, and then really matured on the field and off in his sophomore year," Bradley said.
This coming fall, Bradley expects to have seven Rhode Islanders out of 28 players. "Peter is in a position to lead the Rhode Island players and the team as a whole. We are in the process of assisting him with that role and to improve his skills as an attacking player.
"He is one of the most pleasurable young men weve ever coached," Bradley said. "He is the type of kid you want to bring to your home. Hes got good family values and brings that to the team."
As he prepares for his last days as an undergraduate and last season as a soccer player, Benevides has some advice for high school students.
"Dont overlook URI and dont underestimate URI," Benevides said. "Weve proven how good we are in the field and in the classroom."
And at a reception earlier this year for deans list URI student-athletes, he said it is possible to turn around a weak academic record. "I wasnt doing well my first semester here, but now I have a 3.17 cumulative grade point average.
"But I couldnt have done it without my teammates, coaches, academic adviser Nancy Kelley and great professors (Joseph) Matoney and (Richard) McIntyre," he said.
When he completes his studies at URI, Benevides hopes to pursue a career in accounting or brokerage work. And hed also like to coach youngsters. "I love working with kids," he said.
In fact, he will be working with Assistant Coach Jay Primianos Goal 4 Rams Soccer Camps as a business adviser/coach in an internship capacity to gain experience. He will be coaching children as well as overseeing business planning and accounting duties.
For Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116