The Man, The Myth, The Beachy

Ethan Beachy makes school history as sophomore quarterback

The quarterback is indisputably the most important player on the football field as they are in charge of every offensive play. This position comes with stress, honor, and pressure. For the first time in school history, an underclassmen started as QB1 for the Wolves.  

The Wolves football program has always relied on upperclassmen to serve in this sought after position. Easton Mains held the position for two years as he jump started the program as a junior QB in 2020, then Josh Basilevac led the Wolves to their very first playoff appearance in 2022, his senior season. 

Johnny Ferguson was set to take on QB for his senior year this fall as he was Basilevac’s backup last year. 

Sophomore Ethan Beachy faced an intimidating and inaugural feat when senior quarterback Johnny Ferguson suffered a hard hit and concussion against Lincoln Northwest (LNW). 

At the start of the 2023 season, Beachy was the JV and backup Varsity quarterback. Head football coach Sam Stanley put Beachy in for his first varsity appearance against Crete when the Wolves had a safe lead. 

“[The game] couldn’t have gone any better. Just played mistake-free football.” Stanley said, “He hit a long touchdown pass early, ran the offense really well, and delivered a couple of other deep balls really nice.”

The Crete game showed the football coaching staff Beachy could be trusted with the ball and made the decision to put him in the LNW game an easy one. 

“What really indicated that he was prepared for that opportunity was his poise, his maturity, and most importantly his leadership which is rare to see in a sophomore.” Stanley said.

“[Beachy was] absolutely ready,” Ferguson said. “He’s a great quarterback and when it came down to it he was definitely the guy to take the spot.”

Though Beachy had trained for the role and the team had full faith in his ability, being thrown into the game with no warning provided the ultimate test of his readiness. 

“I was pretty nervous at first and it was a pretty big shock,” Beachy said.

The pressure was different for Beachy in the LNW game compared to the Crete game because the security of having Ferguson able to come in was gone. 

Ferguson has since returned to play, and he and Beachy have begun to share time as quarterbacks and work toward a common goal. 

“For half the season we’ve been splitting reps and it’s been great,” Ferguson said, “We’ve been working really well together.”

Jacob Rapp, the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the football program, believes these two players and the entire program benefit from the cooperation.

Quarterback Ethan Beachy made a long pass to Wide Receiver Tommy Meckna in a game against Crete. The Wolves walked away with a 57-6 victory and continued their win streak of 3-0. (Photo by Brandon Urbano)

“Ethan learned a lot about our system and how to run it from watching Johnny in practice and learning from his leadership,” Rapp said, “The fact that both Ethan and Johnny have embraced their roles, supported each other, and still play at a high level speaks to what kind of teammates and leaders they both are for us this year.”

The wolves train in a highly competitive environment for every practice, and no quarterback is guaranteed their role for the Friday Night starting spot. Beachy highly attributes his success to his fellow quarterbacks Johnny Ferguson and Maverick Christiansen.

“They, especially Johnny, pushed me and made me a better player during practice when we’re competing for a spot,” Beachy said.

The jump from JV to Varsity is a difficult challenge to face for any player with the increase in size of opponents, speed of play, and pressure to win. Beachy has not only worked tirelessly this fall, but also in the off season to improve his arm strength and overall conditioning by his investment in Justin Carraher’s weight lifting program. 

“Ethan’s dedication to our off-season and pre-season strength and conditioning program designed by Coach Carraher played a big part in the velocity he gained when throwing the football,” Rapp said.

Beachy dedicated much of the past year to his growth in football mentally and physically as quarterbacks must know the ins and outs of every play. He watched hours upon hours of film and gave it his all in every practice to be ready to lead.

“[Being a sophomore] definitely can be harder because it can feel that the seniors should be the leaders but if you are confident and support other players it can come easier,” Beachy said.

To lead a field of juniors and seniors as a sophomore can be daunting, but Beachy took it in stride as a confident player and an excellent teammate. 

“He celebrates others’ successes just as much as his own,” Rapp said, “He is one of the first kids to greet teammates as they come off the field, whether it’s to congratulate or motivate them to continue to keep playing hard.”

Beachy’s underclassmen status is not only record breaking for the Wolves, but also incredibly auspicious. Compatibility and familiarity often comes with time, and time is not a gift typically received for many quarterbacks since many do not get the starting position until further in their career.

“As a younger quarterback, I’m better prepared for the system,” Beachy said, “We will be very capable of winning a championship and that is our end goal for sure.”

Beachy’s end of season stats speak for themselves with six pass touchdowns, 359 pass yards, and 266 rushing yards with 37 carries. The team has Beachy for two more seasons and it seems the sky’s the limit for his potential. 

“Ethan is a tremendous football player, with a high football IQ and a tireless work ethic,” Rapp said, “He is setting himself up to have a ton of success and a great football career here at Elkhorn North.”

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