CALUMET CITY | He is playing out of position, but you would never know it from talking with him.
T.F. North senior Dion Beecham was put in the quarterback position a few weeks ago in a loss at Tinley Park when starter Calvin Lindsey went down with a knee injury.
Beecham has kept a good attitude and you can tell he took Friday's Friday's 42-12 South Suburban Blue Conference loss to Oak Forest personally.
He shouldn't. I know he is the quarterback, but he doesn't need to put any more pressure on himself.
"I know he is competitive and wants to win," North coach Artie Rogers said. "Dion is a leader, one of my seniors, and he wants to do a good job. We need that intensity from him. He is mature and confident and we are confident in him."
Teammates Aaron Combs said Beecham may be carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders. He does not need to win the respect of his teammates or his coaches. He has that.
"Totally unselfish for him to move to quarterback, and that is out of position, but that shows he is all for the team," Rogers said. "I know he would rather be catching passes and he is a great receiver, but he has stepped up and is running the offense."
Beecham just needs to slow down. Maybe he is trying to do too much or at least he is placing that on himself. He is a great athlete and has the leadership skills as do his senior teammates.
He is a good quarterback and the fact he was trying to put points up after the game was already lost shows his competitiveness. While some kids may duck out, he talked about getting ready for T.F. South.
"Big rivalry game and I know they will be ready," Beecham said. "We know we have a tough schedule ahead, but we have to be prepared and it's my job to get us ready."
I know the ranks are getting thinner with injuries. Rogers said he is down to his fourth punter of the season as Delon Perry missed most of Friday's game with what Rogers said was similar to a pinched nerve in his neck. Defensive tackle Michael Ozoh was under the weather most of the week.
There is no need for Beecham to feel the weight of the world. He does not have to be Calvin Lindsey. He needs to be Dion Beecham and Dion Beecham is a pretty good football player.
I know he takes some of the blame to take the pressure off his teammates. North is still in the playoff hunt and Beecham's leadership and his competitiveness will be one of the reasons it can happen.
This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.