Kory Beach has played football longer than most. He first got his start in the sport while in the second grade when he played for the Sunset Eagles—now Altus Elementary School—and has since had a long and successful career terrorizing opposing quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers as a middle linebacker.
As one of the Bulldogs’ few seniors on a defensive unit that is comprised of mostly young players, Beach will be one of the players expected to lead, encourage, and teach the inexperienced members of the defensive side of the ball.
But for Beach, that comes with being a Bulldog. There is more to being a member of the Altus football program than just playing. Players are expected to continuously learn and strive to always be the best possible version of themselves while being leaders on and off the field.
The seniors—like Beach—who have been in the program the longest know what is expected of them and have not shied away from the task at hand. Instead, they have embraced it with optimism and an intensity that one is apt to find in college football of the NFL rather than high school football.
“It’s my job to get everyone lined up and I love being the field general on defense,” Beach said. “Football is more than just a game to me, it also teaches you the importance of hard work and servant leadership. I love getting to be a part of something bigger than myself—the brotherhood.”
The Bulldogs’ defense last year was one of the most opportunistic defenses in high school football with defensive standouts Hassan Foye, Hunter Cleveland, and Beach leading the way in getting stops and making plays when the team needed them the most.
Foye and Cleveland have moved on as have seven other players who finished last season in the top 10 in tackles for the Bulldogs. Of the three that remain, Beach was third on the team with 51 tackles and three sacks, Jazzerick Pitts was fifth with 43 tackles and one sack, and Kody Sullivan finished 10th with 31 tackles and three sacks.
Although Beach looks to lead this team, personal accolades mean little to the middle linebacker. His major concern is focusing on what the boys in blue can do on the field to ensure the team succeeds.
“I feel like my strength comes from playing with my head and being able to make checks and then shooting my gap with relentless effort. I learned a lot from guys like Hunter and Hassan but it was never about who had the most tackles,” Beach said. “It was always about winning football games and shutting down opposing offenses. That is what we all want to do this year as well.”
The Bulldogs have been working all summer long in preparation for the season and feel they are well equipped to handle anything their opponents throw at them. For Beach, the expectations this season are the same as they have been every season since he became a starter for the team which is to win and win a lot.
“We have only had one goal in mind since day one and that is to have a 14-game season and come out on top,” Beach said.
Beach has had a terrific support system backing him every step of the way and knows if not for them, he would not be where he is today.
But this season is his last as a Bulldog and for that, Beach looks to the sky and his friends and family to help him stay focused and lead the team with pride.
“My family and my faith in Jesus are my greatest support systems,” Beach said. “Also, the brotherhood aspect of our team has been one of the most important things in my career as a Bulldog. I’ve built not only relationships with players but with the coaches as well and it has been the greatest blessing. I am going to miss all of my brothers.”
Once the season is over, Beach has his heart set on attending the Air Force Academy, but for now, his main focus is playing each game like it is his last and making the community proud of the Bulldog football program.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.