It only took three games for Colton Beebe to cement his place in Piper’s starting lineup.
His first taste of varsity football came quickly, when he was called off the bench in the season opener his freshman year. Coach Chris Brindle’s gamble paid off as Beebe delivered a solid defensive stand and his first touchdown.
“I remember I was scared,” Beebe said. “I didn’t really expect to get in much, but they put me in during the second quarter, and I’ve been playing since then. It was a learning experience, but it went well.”
Encouraged by the potential, Brindle popped Beebe into the starting lineup for the second game at linebacker and fullback, and by the third Beebe was excelling, leading the team in both tackles and scoring.
“I told the coaches that either we are not very good or he is really good, and it was a combination of both at the time,” Brindle said.
Since then, Beebe and the Pirates have flourished together.
Piper has made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and has a 6-3 record in Kansas Class 4A state playoff games. In that same span, the versatile Beebe has recorded 362 career tackles, 1,167 rushing yards, 548 receiving yards, 22 touchdowns and an average of 37.3 yards per punt.
Last year alone he had 159 tackles and two sacks, which helped him earn a flurry of honors. The most high profile came when he was tabbed as the Bobby Bell award recipient, which honors the top linebacker in Kansas Class 4-1A and Missouri Class 4-1 as part of the Thomas A. Simone awards. He also received the Mark Simoneau Award as the best linebacker for small classes in the metro area from 810 Varsity and played in the International Bowl with the U18 U.S. National Team.
The 6-foot-3, 252-pound senior picked up this season where he left off with 11 tackles, nine carries, one reception and an average of 45.5 yards per punt in Piper’s week one victory against Lansing.
“When you see him play live, it’s a lot of fun,” Brindle said. “It’s football, and he is just a throwback player.”
Beebe attributes much of his love of the sport to his father, Tom, who played college ball at Pittsburg State. In the offseason, he turns to his mother, Tamara, who played basketball at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for inspiration on the court.
“My dad was a really good football player, and he showed me that hard work pays off,” Beebe said. “I’ve always looked up to my dad, and he’s been one of my coaches since I was really young. It’s fun growing up loving a sport as much as somebody else does.”
This past weekend he took another step toward furthering the family’s athletic prowess when he picked up a scholarship offer from Kansas. That is his fifth official offer, joining Minnesota, Central Arkansas, Missouri Western and Air Force.
“That whole experience was really great,” Beebe said. “It’s special to have all these schools looking at you, and I’m enjoying my senior year with this team.”
The next challenge for Beebe and the Pirates will be a tough three-game stretch of road games starting Friday at 7 p.m. in Baldwin.
To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to email@example.com.