Beecher earns prestigious honor
Sam Beecher joined a prestigious list this week.
The Baldwin High School senior became the fourth player under coach Mike Berg’s 11-year tenure as BHS football coach to be a unanimous Class 4A All-State selection. Beecher’s 1,807 rushing yards, 907 passing yards and 25 touchdowns were enough to catch the eyes of voters state wide.
He was chosen on the First-Team All-State by the Topeka Capital-Journal, Wichita Eagle and Kansas Football Coaches Association.
“I thought there was a first team, second team and honorable mention, so my goal was to be second team all-state,” Beecher said. “When I found out there was only first team and honorable mention, I didn’t think I had a chance to be on the first team. Then I found out I made the first-team All-State. It really made my day.”
“Individually, it’s a great honor,” he said. “I’d like to say I put in a lot of work in the offseason to become a better football player and I’m just glad it paid off.”
Berg’s coached only a trio of other players who have also been unanimous First-Team All-State selections. They were 2004 graduate Micah Mason, 2006 graduate Aaron Hannon and 2008 graduate Luke Weaver.
Beecher took over the Bulldogs’ single wing offense as the primary running back and quarterback. He led the Frontier League in total yards from scrimmage this fall. As a junior, Beecher carried the ball for 1,665 and 16 touchdowns as he split time with Gabe Mason and Jared Hall, both 2008 graduates.
“He led the team by example,” Berg said of Beecher. “He was just a full-time football player, who never missed a weight lifting session, Dog Days or anything. When you do that, you’re going to be at the top of your game and he was at the top of his game this year.
“Sam would be the first one to tell you that you’re not an all-state player unless you have good linemen in front of you,” he said. “That’s what we had this year.”
Beecher wasn’t the only Bulldog recognized with All-State honors this week. Fellow seniors David Tuley and Carson Wood were selected Honorable Mention All-State.
Tuley, offensive line, was chosen by both newspapers. Wood, defensive line, was selected by the Topeka Capital-Journal. Both were also First-Team All-League players.
“We are very surprised to have three kids on the all-state team,” Berg said. “It’s not that they aren’t worthy, but we didn’t quite make it as far as we did last year. However, I’m really happy for them, because all of their hard work paid off.”
Since Tuley was the primary lineman that Beecher ran behind all season, he was hoping Tuley would join in on the first team.
“I was thinking Tuley would make the first team with me,” Beecher said. “I’m glad he at least got honorable mention, because he really deserves that honor. He also put in a lot of work and he played his heart out during practice and our games.”
BHS finished its season 8-3 as one of the final 16 4A teams. Baldwin also placed runner-up in the league and tied for its district title.