Beck gives Estancia special returns

Daily Pilot High School Football Player of the Week

Senior produced 99-yard kickoff return for a TD in Battle for Bell and also had one for 92 yards against Sonora.

October 11, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach | Daily…)

For those who attended the Battle for the Bell, or who read about it last week, Ben Beck's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown proved to be the difference.

Estancia High beat Costa Mesa, 15-13, after Beck took one back for the second time in as many weeks. None of those two returns compare to his return from a serious right foot injury last year.

Getting back on the field to play special teams, or wide receiver and free safety wasn't automatic for Beck.

The player who outran the Mustangs to the end zone last week couldn't go at full speed in last year's rivalry game. Beck said last year's game against Costa Mesa was his first back from a Lisfranc foot injury suffered in the fifth game of the season.

"It wasn't fully healed," said Beck, referring to when he came back from the injury in which ligaments that supported his midfoot tore. "I was just hesitant."


Coach Mike Bargas said Beck was gun shy. The setback slowed Beck down last year during the stretch run of the Eagles' historic season.

While the team claimed a second straight undefeated Orange Coast League title and made the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, Beck wasn't himself. He said he was dropping a lot of passes as a receiver.

His coach understood why Beck was struggling.

"We know he's got the tools, and sometimes when you get injuries like that, it's easier said than done to go out there and just go ahead and play," Bargas said. "You have that fear of reinjuring it. At the end of the day, these guys are 16- and 17-year-old kids."

Beck is 17 years old now. Bargas wasn't sure how the teenager would respond to his senior year.

Not helping matters was Beck missing a couple of practices during two-a-days before the season. Missing time during training camp is usually a big no-no.

Bargas is well aware that Beck is a busy kid. On top of playing two others sports, baseball and basketball, Beck is the Associated Student Body president at school.

When the ASB president told the man in charge of the football program that he was going to a camp while the rest of his teammates prepared for the season, Beck said it was tough.

"He just told me that I probably won't play the first game," Beck said. "I wanted to play, but at the same time I had to go."

Beck said he went to a baseball camp at Brown University. Baseball is his No. 1 sport.

Not making football the top priority had its consequences.

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