Devin Benton’s family connection helps get him to Red Wolves
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Chattanooga Red Wolves newest midfielder has a connection to the team that dates back to before he was even born. Devin Benton spent last year on the wrong side of Chattanooga’s late scoring thrillers. A former North Texas player Benton lost to the Red Wolves three times.
“It was frustrating, and this is not a place you want to come as an away team for sure. But I mean, that’s just part of it I guess. I’m happy to be on this side of it now,” Benton said.
Benton’s road to the Red Wolves began with Chattanooga’s assistant coach Jimmy Weekly who was childhood friends with Benton’s dad.
“When he became available this year, Jimmy spoke to me about him, and I remembered him,” head coach Jimmy Obleda said. “He’s been a great addition, great young man, great young soccer player with great potential. I’ll give Jimmy credit for that signing. That was all him.”
“It was a rough road for a little bit,” Benton recalled his decision to leave college ball after one year. “I just figured I’m getting older, and it’s now or never. My dad was a big part in that and making that decision. So I started going on trials, going all over the country, all over the world, and yeah, this is how I got into it. Just chasing the dream.”
Now a Chattanooga starter, Benton is using the infectious Red Wolves energy to grow his game.
“It’s exciting getting a win here. The atmosphere, the fans are great. They rock with us whether we lose, win or tie so yeah, I love it,” Benton said.
“I don’t see why he shouldn’t be able to play MLS in the next few years. Championship level definitely, next level, and MLS,” Obleda said. “I think he’s kind of got that pedigree in him. He’s got the physical, the athletic. He’s good soccer IQ. The sky’s the limit for him, definitely.”