Being a Chatters is synonymous with success in the classroom and in athletics.
With three older sisters to look up to, recent St. Louis Catholic graduate Benji Chatters said he was driven to succeed. He maintained a 4.65-grade point average, ranked No. 2 in his graduating class and scored a 33 on the ACT while excelling in three sports. For that, he was named the American Press Scholar Athlete of the Year.
"I am a very competitive person," Chatters said. "I like competing. I would always play with (my three sisters) and I started playing baseball and basketball. From there I started playing football in middle school. I have always liked to go to school. I enjoy going to class and being challenged. I have always wanted to be a good student since I was a kid."
Two of his sisters, Cydney and Jodi, are in medical school while Drew is in dental school. Cydney and Drew were standout soccer players and track athletes, while Drew was a three-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference javelin champion at Xavier University in New Orleans.
"I had good examples of how to do it from my sisters," Chatters said. "I didn't struggle that much with it. I was able to realize what was really important so when it came to a serious overlap I could always put more emphasis on school. That was more important."
Chatters' parents Benard, a horse trainer, and Rachel a pediatrician, also helped to mold his academic and athletic success.
"My parents are serious about education and that is something they always instilled in me and my siblings," Chatters said. "They showed us the importance of education."
Chatters is be headed to the University of Missouri-Kansas City this fall to start a six-year combined undergrad and medical school program.
"It is all year round, no summers," Chatters said. "(Family) had a lot of influence on that. I have grown up around them. I also want to be a doctor for my own reasons. I feel like that is something that is great and I want to be able to help people with their problems.
"There is a certain level of competitiveness in that, too, that I like about being a doctor. Being a good doctor is something I always wanted to do since I was a kid. I looked up to my mom a lot."
Chatters said a typical day started about 6 a.m. and most days he wouldn't get home until 6 p.m. or later.
As a 6-foot guard, Chatters helped lead the Saints to the Division II state semifinals in March and he earned a spot on the Class 3A all-academic composite team. On the gridiron, Chatters' ability as a wide receiver (27 receptions, 667 yards, 8 touchdowns) helped the Saints to a first-round upset of No. 8 Loyola Prep. He also ran on the Saints' 4x100- and 4x200-meter teams.
"I love sports, so I never really wanted to stop," Chatters said. "Sometimes I wouldn't want to go to practice, so I would struggle. But I love playing the games. I knew it could be done because all my sisters did that
"I think I will miss basketball the most, but I think I was a better football player."