He is the perfect example of a student-athlete.
Whether playing in the jazz band, dominating a wrestling opponent or clocking one of the top 800-meter times in the state, Ben Gillette excels at everything he does.
The senior at Redfield High School tries a little bit of everything and always does his best at everything he tries.
I like to get involved, Gillette said. I try to be well-rounded. I don't like to just focus on one thing.
Gillette combines a variety of skills with plenty of old-fashioned work ethic to succeed, whether it is playing football or singing in the school choir.
He's talented, said Redfield-Doland wrestling coach Fran Esser, who also pointed out Gillette's desire to refine those talents. He's one of the hardest working kids I've ever coached. He's so well-rounded. You should hear him sing and play in the band.
Gillette comes to school early two mornings a week to play in the jazz band. He can play everything from trombone to guitar to piano. He was also a member of all-state chorus.
An accomplished cross-country runner, football player and track member, Gillette is probably best known for his wrestling ability.
Gillette has lost just five matches the past four seasons and won a state championship as a sophomore. He has finished runnerup twice.
Interestingly enough, Gillette got off to a rough start in the sport.
When I first started wrestling, when I was in AAU, I was actually really terrible, he recalled. I lost every single match that I wrestled.
Instead of quitting, Gillette went to work.
I was pretty competitive, Gillette said. I just wanted to get better. It didn't matter to me that I was losing. I just wanted to get better.
Not much has changed since those days as a third-grader. Gillette is still finding ways to improve, whether in the classroom or the wrestling room.
In anything he does, he's like a kid in a candy store, Esser noted. He's excited. Everything is new to him.
It is that quest for knowledge that has led Gillette to his choice of careers. He wants to be a family physician.
I think it might have something to do with the connection to sports, said Gillette, currently a 4.0 student. I've always been fascinated by how my own body works.
Gillette is taking anatomy as an elective this year and said it's probably his favorite class.
Meanwhile, Gillette is the one taking his opponents to school on the mat. He is currently undefeated and has his sights set on another possible state championship.
Last year, his only loss came in the finals of the State B tournament in a close decision. While some Pheasant faithful probably had a tough time dealing with the setback, Gillette took the loss in stride.