The Sierra Vista Buena blue and white that Ben Sims dons at this weekend’s Willie Williams Classic will soon change to the prestigious black, gray and gold of Army.
But before Sims steps onto the campus at West Point to play football and run track, he still has some unfinished business left in Southern Arizona.
The Star recently caught up with Sims, leading up to the 27-team meet at Drachman Stadium which began Thursday and continues today and Saturday.
Bronze to gold
Sims, who will compete in the long jump, triple jump and 1,600-meter relay this weekend, placed third in the Division I triple jump at last spring’s state meet. He’s hoping to turn that bronze into a gold this time around.
“My goal is to take it all this year,” Sims said. “I want to train hard like I’ve been doing and be at the top of the podium at the end of my senior year.”
The Willie Williams Classic, which Sims described as the biggest meet of the regular season, is the perfect place to start.
Continue the family path
Success on the track hasn’t been a rarity for the Sims siblings, as Ben is simply following his family’s path. Both sister Zenobia and brother Walter were star athletes for Buena and Zenobia now runs at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo. Ben took the next step, securing a spot in a Division I program. Or, more correctly, two spots.
“I’m just blessed and I’m happy,” he said. “I pray every day because it is amazing.”
Right now, Sims’ main focus is track, since it is the sport that got him to West Point. He still plans on playing both sports, despite the “hard and tedious” schedule requiring him to work from morning to night.
Building off each other
Fortunately for Sims, football and track aren’t mutually exclusive.
The 5-foot-8-inch speedster said track did wonders for him in football, and his daily strength training is now paying dividends this track season. While track might ultimately be his future, Sims showed Army his abilities on the gridiron as well, racking up 1,784 all-purpose yards and 20 total touchdowns while helping lead his team to the state playoffs.
“It was an amazing feeling, actually,” Sims said of his season. “To get the ball and go down the field with your teammates, to block for them and have the rapport that we did.”