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Athlete of the week 11/19/13: Beeson steps up for Avon in 9B title game

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sports Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

AVON — Heading into the Class 9B championship football game, junior Kole Beeson was fighting an ankle injury, sidelining him during practice for most of the week.

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Beeson, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound fullback, suffered the injury during the semifinal playoff game against Wall Nov. 9, but he didn’t let the sore ankle faze him when the championship game was on the line Friday.

Trailing Hamlin 22-16 with just over a minute to play, Beeson caught a screen pass from quarterback Logan Mudder. With the help of some big blocks, Beeson ran 38 yards for a game-tying touchdown.

“I was pretty nervous because time was running down,” Beeson said. “We were in our two-minute offense and I knew the play was coming to me. I told myself to catch the ball. I give a lot of credit to Logan’s pass and the blocks I got.”

After running into the end zone, Beeson limped back to the sideline. Avon coach Tom Culver said the coaches asked Beeson if he could go in for the extra point, and Beeson couldn’t turn down the opportunity to help his team.

“Not many people saw it, but he made a huge block for Devin (Tolsma) on that play,” Culver said.

Tolsma, a junior running back, scored on the two-point conversion to lift the Pirates to a 24-22 lead.

For Beeson’s efforts, he was named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.

Culver said he called the screen pass in hopes of getting a first down.

“I saw Hamlin was keying on Devin and Brandon (Kocmich), and they were blitzing,” he said. “I knew if we ran that screen pass, we could probably get the first down and we happened to execute it very well and score off it.”

The touchdown reception was Beeson’s only catch of the game and he added two tackles on defense.

Culver said the coaches have told the players all season that everyone has an important role.

“We’ve preached that all year,” he said. “Everybody has to be ready to step up, and thankfully, that’s what happened.”

The No. 2 Pirates won their fifth championship with the 24-22 win over No. 1 Hamlin Friday.

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