More Than An Athlete.
t. Luke's senior, Anna Marie Bentley, will join the Birmingham Southern College women's tennis team for the 2023 season.
As a student, Bentley will major in Health Sciences in BSC's dual nursing program with University of Alabama - Birmingham.
Bentley leaves behind a remarkable legacy of success at St. Luke's. As a Wildcat, Bentley was a three-time AHSAA State Champion in doubles, an AHSAA State Champion in singles, and teammate on the state championship girls' tennis team.
In addition to tennis, Bentley is also a member of the Cross Country team, Student Ambassador, Intern, and a member of Key Club, and Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Krewe.
Read on for our interview with Anna Marie Bentley.
St. Luke's: What college will you be going to?
Anna Marie Bentley: I'll be attending Birmingham Southern College
SL:   How and why did you decide to go there?
AMB:   I got in contact with the tennis coach last year, and she invited me on campus to tour and meet the team. For me, I felt very welcomed by all the girls and was invited back up for an overnight visit with the girls team. I went back and absolutely loved it! The girls on the team were all so welcoming and encouraging, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of the team next fall.
SL:   How did SL help prepare you to participate at the next level?
AMB:   St. Luke's allowed me the opportunity to compete on the Varsity Tennis Team for 6 years.
SL:   Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of sports?
AMB:   I also ran on the Varsity Cross Country team for 5 years.
SL:   Which strengths do you believe you have that make you a great athlete?
AMB:   I am very big on teamwork. As being team captain this year for both of my sporting teams, I have learned that a positive and encouraging atmosphere is extremely important in the success of a team.
SL:   What have you learned about teamwork from your past experiences on your teams at SL?
AMB:   I have learned that teamwork is one of the keys to success. For instance, I was a part of the 2021 State Championship Tennis Team. The state title could not have been possible if we did not work together as a team. We all met on weekends and put in extra work outside of tennis practices. As a team, we had to put in the effort in and outside of practice. Because of the amount of teamwork that went into the past tennis season, we were able to bring home a state title for our school.
SL:   What do you look for in a great coach?
AMB:   For a great coach, I look for someone who is willing to work with their athletes. Communication is also very important as well as a supportive coach who will be there to support you on the good days and there to lift you up on the bad ones.
SL:   How would your high school coaches and teammates describe you?
AMB:   I hope that my high school teammates would describe me as very welcoming and easy to work with. Being on a team and working with other athletes is very important to me, and I hope my teammates would describe me that way.
Thanks Anna Marie!  We wish you all the best next year as a Panther!