Heart. One beat, one team.
The new motto for the James Buchanan football team speaks to more than just a desire to improve morale in the rebuilding program, especially after team center Colton Beckman received life-altering news.
In July, just a week after James Buchanan's football camp, Beckman's mother Terra was diagnosed with cancer.
Word spread quickly to the coaches and team, which instantly jumped into action to help the family. The Rockets banded together to cook meals for the Beckman family and help out wherever needed around the house while Terra was off her feet.
"I’ve been with Colton a while now, and you just fall in love with his work ethic and what he has become because of football and just knowing him," James Buchanan coach Andy Stoner said. "We just wanted to let him know that we are here for him, and even though his mother is going through this we just wanted to let him know we are here."
"They did whatever they could for us," Beckman said. "They really showed me that when they say we are family we are really a family."
That kind of mentality will help drive the Rockets to what they hope is an improvement from their 0-10 season last year.
The line which Beckman anchors consists of what Stoner says is going to be the "glue" of the team this year. The cohesion, work ethic and talent of Beckman, Jackson Ellis, Sean Bankson, Judson Iverson and Zane Bray look to be the strongest part of the Rockets roster.
Iverson said, "Even with our line last year, we had fights between our line and running backs and fullbacks, but this year since we’ve been together so long, we all work really well as a team."
"These guys work hard tremendously on and off the field," Stoner said. "They are in the trenches. They know what it’s like to be out there on Friday nights, and they have a sour taste in their mouths after last year."
With a roster of just 30 players, the linemen will be on the field for nearly 60 minutes as they are slated to play offense, defense and special teams.
"It gets rough and nasty and tiring, but you just have to keep going, and not give up or else you lose," Iverson said.
"It was the most amazing thing to watch Colton (5-foot-8, 182 pounds) last year going against the 6-foot, 300 pounders and Colton putting them on their butts," Bankson said. "Size doesn't matter."