Regan Bentley wanted to get a lot out of high school.
She certainly accomplished her goal, and now a month into her final year, the St. Basil High School senior has a lot of reasons to be happy about her decision.
Bentley does it all. She plays soccer, basketball and softball.
Thanks to having first honors every quarter, she’s a member of the National Honor Society. She’s a member of the student council. She’s on the leadership board of the community service group, she’s a leader of the school’s religious retreats, she helps raise money for the school through various events and she’s on the committee that welcomes new students to the school.
“Everyone tells you when you get to high school, you get more out of everything if you do more,” said Bentley, who lives in Mayfair. “I took it seriously so I wanted to do as much as I could. It’s very busy, and you have to communicate with everyone when there are two things going on at once so they know. But I love it. I love being at the school. I love everything about it.”
That’s why the recent news that St. Basil will close at the end of the school year has been so devastating.
“My mom came in my room, she got an email and she told me, I was one of my first friends to know, it’s just heartbreaking, it’s so sad,” Bentley said. “We were having an online learning day, so nobody was at the school. We all went to the school just to be with each other. We all love the school.
“I feel terrible that it’s closing for all of the graduates and the seniors, but I really feel bad for the younger students, juniors and the sophomores and the freshmen. I couldn’t imagine having to go somewhere else.
“Anyone who goes to Basil’s knows how special it is. We know it. If you come to our school, you’ll see it. It’s just a great place to be.”
Bentley should have no regrets.
She represented her school the best way possible by working hard and excelling in everything she was a part of.
Bentley has been a key player in all three of the teams she plays for. Admittedly, basketball is her third sport, but she served as a leader and cheerleader to the starters, and when her number is called, she goes out and does everything she can.
But her two primary sports are soccer and softball, and she anticipates having a great senior year in both of them.
She’s had more than her share of success in soccer. In each of her three years on the team, the Panthers won the District I championship and went on to compete in states. The Panthers have done the same in basketball. Softball hasn’t been as successful, but Bentley and her teammates were optimistic last year was going to be a good one.
She feels the same way about soccer, and wants to leave the school with another district crown.
“I think we should be really good, that’s why we were so excited when we found out we were going to play,” said Bentley, who plays center midfield for the Panthers. “We have a really good team this year. It’s young, but we should be good.”
She also believes basketball and softball could have memorable seasons. She hopes to ride a successful career into college.
She’s unsure if she’ll play sports in college, but if she does, it will likely be soccer or softball. But school comes first, and she is looking at an ambitious schedule.
“I want to do a five-year physician’s assistant program,” said Bentley, who is ranked in the top 15 percent of her senior class. “It’s an accelerated program. You earn two degrees by the time you’re in your fifth year. Instead of doing it in two separate parts, you do it together. You graduate faster.
“I’ve always been interested in this since I was younger. I always thought about doing something in the medical profession. I like biology and math. I like writing, too, I write for the school paper, but I want to do something in the medical field.”
For now, she just wants to nurse her senior season. And keep the school open as long as can be.
The school announced this is the last year, but schools have changed their minds in the past. That would be ideal for Bentley and all of the other Basil’s graduates, but no matter what, Bentley wants this year to be a good one.
“I want this to be memorable whether it closes or somehow a miracle happens and it stays open,” Bentley said. “I love this school. We all got together today, we hugged, we cried. The teachers were sad. I feel bad for them. They’re all great teachers and they’ll get jobs anywhere, but they wanted to be here.
“I talked to a lot of our coaches and this year, we really have to play every game like it’s our last because you never know when the season could end, especially with COVID. It stinks to say that, but it’s true. We want to make this a great year for everyone at Basil’s.
“The school has been around for 90 years, it’s hard to believe this is the last one. But every year is great, and we want this to be the best.”