South’s White on the move

Always on the move.

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s phrase to describe Anakin Skywalker during their rescue attempt of Chancellor Palpatine during Start Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith fits well when paired with Parkersburg South senior tennis player Ben White.

“I stay active,” said White. “I really like being active.”

From tennis to mountain biking, video games, playing an instrument, working out and academics, the final-year Patriot has a multitude of activities to keep him engaged.

“Obviously, tennis takes a big part of my life,” said White, who qualified for the state tournament in both doubles and singles last season. “Aside from that I try to get really good grades. I keep straight A’s and have one of the best grade point averages in the graduating class.”

When Mr. White, in the Conservatory with the lead pipe (Sorry Ben, I couldn’t resist the Clue reference), wants a break from tennis or his studies you can find him on the Mountwood Park bike trails, or on his PlayStation 4 playing Call of Duty.

“My parents picked it up (biking) when they moved to West Virginia and it just became part of the family,” said White when asked about his outdoor hobby. “It is something my dad did and I started going out with him during the summer.”

The avid gamer was drawn to the COD franchise, unsurprisingly, because of its fast pace. “You are always moving and doing something,” said White.

Modern Warfare Remastered and Advanced Warfare are the two iterations of the game currently seeing the most playing time.

“I like video games a lot,” shared White.

Paintball is a close second favorite outdoor activity for the senior. White participated in the local high school’s Water Assassins contest this year for a third outdoor activity.

The Patriots’ choice in cinematic adventures fits his lifestyle with spy and horror flicks at the apex of his list. South Park is his favorite television show.

Despite the in-your-face nature of some of his other hobbies, White does have a classical side to him.

“I started playing the violin when I was 3 because my mom wanted me to play,” said White. “It isn’t a very easy instrument to learn how to play and I gave it up my freshman year of high school.

“However, I started playing again this school year because I had a hole in my class schedule and I picked up an individual instrumental studies class to fill it. I feel now that it is actually me wanting to play and I am more self-guided I enjoy it a lot more. Getting to play what I want to play is just a lot of fun.”

Speaking of academics, Ben’s studies won’t end after he walks across the stage at Erickson All-Sports Facility (rain not withstanding).

Unsurprisingly, the soon-to-be high school graduate will pursue a double major in economics and Chinese. His choices follow along with the theme of this column.

“I don’t see myself staying in one place,” shared White. “When I join the workforce I really want to be international. China has one of the biggest economies and is a big place for business. Chinese (more specifically Mandarin) is an extremely important language. Economics will help me get my foot in the door into business internationally as well.

“Actually, my dream job is to manage the investors for the World Economic Forum. I really want to work with people and businesses (big businesses) on an international scale.

“I have a buddy who works weird hours and travels a lot. That kind of stress is something I want to take on.”

His school selection could not have been bettered suited to his employment desires. White is set to attend one of the best small colleges in the nation – Macalester College.

Economics is the Flagship program of the school and extremely exclusive. Applicants must have around a 31 ACT score for qualification purposes.

The St. Paul, Minn., based school set themselves apart from other schools on Ben’s list immediately with its introduction letter to the potential attendee.

“I didn’t get the normal introduction letter,” recalls White. “The wording in the opening paragraph read ‘We know you get a lot of these letters blah, blah, blah,’ and it was different and caught my attention. I went up for an overnight visit, got to hang out with the tennis team (He will continue his academic tennis career at the next level), played tennis, and got to see what the college was like.

“I loved the team, the people, and the school was perfect for my major. It had everything I wanted.”

When it comes to his romantic life, White has it on the backburner for the time being.

Contact Joe Albright at