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Beckman's Kim keeps coming

Running back has been a force for the Patriots, who will face Corona del Mar for the Pacific Coast League title on Friday.

November 05, 2011|By Joe Haakenson, Special to the Daily Pilot

Jeff Kim came to America from Korea with his family five years ago, but like many immigrants, the only "football" he knew was soccer.

And when Kim first enrolled at Beckman High, soccer is what he played.

"My freshman year, the head coach was actually one of the football coaches and he recommended I give football a try," Kim said. "I liked it. It's the big sport in America and I wanted to try it."

There was really no debate as to which position Kim would play. With his speed and his willingness to get physical, Kim was a natural running back.

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"He not only has pretty decent size, he's a pretty thick kid," said first-year Beckman Coach Ken Mushinskie. "He worked hard in the offseason getting his weight up and putting on some muscle."

Three years ago as a sophomore, he weighed 165 pounds. Now, he's up to 190 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame.

"I've been trying to gain weight," Kim said. "I've been able to do that and I don't think I've lost any speed."

Kim missed three games earlier this season for "unspecified reasons" according to the school, but has come back since the absence with a vengeance. In victories over Woodbridge, Northwood and University, Kim rushed for 488 yards and eight touchdowns. He had a particularly outstanding game against Northwood, rushing for 253 yards and five touchdowns.

Going into Friday's game against Irvine, Kim had rushed for 665 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry, with 14 total touchdowns this season in five games for the Patriots.

"He has great lateral movement and his straight-away speed is impressive," Mushinskie said. "He can run past you, he can run over you, he can break a long one any time he touches the ball.

"To be where he is after playing football only three years is pretty impressive."

Beckman is certainly happy to have Kim on its side in Friday's game against Corona del Mar, which will determine the Pacific Coast League championship. With Friday's win over Irvine, Beckman is 4-0 in league and 7-2 overall; CdM is 4-0 and 8-1. The Sea Kings are the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, while the Patriots are No. 2.

"I've seen them on film and live a couple times," Mushinskie said of CdM. "They're big, they have extremely good size, especially their linebacking corps. Obviously they're very talented and well-coached, and they bring a lot of success to the table."

CdM is generally regarded as the team to beat in the league, but the Sea Kings do have some added motivation against the Patriots, Kim pointed out.

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