BENTON, Ark.- Right now on the Benton Panthers football field, you’ll find players sweating it out, getting ready for their first game under the lights.
There’s another team, or a duo, that is shedding light on teamwork and friendship.
There are 100 yards on the field, and it may be 100 degrees outside, but high school sophomore Andre Lane,14, is running plays, putting in the work for the upcoming season.
His coaches watch on, and someone else is too.
“I’ve seen him a lot during school,” says the 14-year-old.
The other person watching is school resource officer Bobby Shell with Benton Police.
“He’s cool,” says Lane. “I like him a lot.”
“He’s an awesome kid,” says Shell.
They became friends on the field last year, and that transferred to the hallways.
“He just knows I can do it,” Lane says.
“It was just a friendship between an older guy and a teenager, and just mentoring evolved after that,” says Shell.
Officer Shell says while law enforcement is part of his job as a school resource officer, that’s just a small portion.
“What we do with kids every day is teach classes, mentor, walk the halls, interact,” Shell says.
“On Friday, I say ‘Man, your name was named this many times on the PA,” Shell recalls.
So while the new school year approaches, remind your kids to put in the work, and make friends with your school resource officer.
“You gotta make friends with everybody,” Lane says.
“We’re parents, we’re people too,” says Shell. “We want to mentor your kids, take care of your kids and take care of the school as best we can.”