Beattie: Carson’s true football warrior
You would be hard-pressed to find a more blue-collar player than Carson High’s Connor Beattie.
The 5-foot-11 170-pound Beattie, who plays outside linebacker and running back, isn’t big or flashy. He goes out and does his job without a lot of fanfare. He does the dirty work that fans don’t often see, but that coaches and teammates love.
In fact, CHS football coach Blair Roman paid the senior the ultimate compliment earlier this week as Carson prepared for Friday’s NIAA 4A regional title game against McQueen at Damonte Ranch High School.
“There is only one way to describe him,” Roman said. “He is the true football warrior. The guy hardly comes off the field. He epitomizes what high school football is all about. You don’t have to be the biggest or fastest to be a good high school football player.
“He’s made so many big plays – big tackles, sacks and interceptions – over the last two years for us.”
It’s (playing both ways) taken a toll on Beattie’s slender, yet wiry body, this season.
“I’m pretty spent (after games),” said Beattie, who between running the ball and blocking for teammates Trey Jensen, Jon Parker and Dylan Sawyers, takes some pounding. “It’s fun playing both ways. I have a better chance to get a breather. That’s the big difference from last year when I was strictly playing defense and never came out of the game unless I was hurt.”
Beattie has rushed for 604 yards and seven scores, and has 47 tackles (sixth-best on the team) plus two interceptions, six pass deflections and he’s caused a fumble. Not a bad season’s work.
Beattie has proven to be a solid replacement for Mark Sinnott, who played A back for the Senators last year.
“I think I’ve done very well,” Beattie said. “When Mark left, he left some big shoes to fill. We were pretty close friends during the season.”
After an average offensive game against Del Campo (5 carries, 30 yards), Beattie enjoyed a coming-out party against North Valleys with 16 carries for 167 yards in Carson’s easy win. He was quiet for the following three weeks, but enjoyed solid performances against Damonte Ranch (6 carries, 59 yards), Spanish Springs (13 for 67), Galena (11-80) and Reno (11-52) to close out the regular season.
Those numbers may not sound like much, but when you have an explosive back like Dylan Sawyers in the same backfield a multitude of offensive chances aren’t going to be forthcoming and Beattie knows that.
Beattie, a very physical player for his size, excels in blocking which isn’t lost on Roman. Beattie’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and he likes nothing more than lowering the boom on a defender. Blocking isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially with the shifty Sawyers behind you.
“When Trey (Jensen) rolls out on our boot pass, Connor is the guy out there with him leading the way,” Roman said. “He opens holes for Parker and Sawyers with kick-out blocks.”
Beattie admitted that he missed a few blocks in a recent game.
“Dylan is so shifty that I don’t know what’s going on behind me,” Beattie said. “I don’t know if he’s going to cut it inside or take it outside. It would be a lot more fun if I knew where he was going when I’m blocking.”
Beattie doesn’t think he’s playing as well on defense as he did last year. He finished with 62 tackles in 12 games last season, so he would need 15 stops against McQueen to get up to last year’s total. Of course if Carson can keep winning games, he’ll easily surpass last year’s mark.
Beattie’s best games have been against Douglas (8 tackles), Spanish Springs (7 tackles) and Reno (9 tackles). He’s averaging six tackles a game over the last three contests. Everybody knows that tackles are only part of playing good defense. Beattie also is responsible for funneling outside runs back to the middle.
Roman thinks Beattie is too hard on himself.
“You can probably count on the fingers of one hand the mistakes he’s made on defense,” Roman said. “He lost contain a couple of times against Spanish Springs, but on one of those he ends up running 15 yards downfield and gets in on the play.”
Those are hustle plays, and it’s hard to remember Beattie ever taking a play off for not hustling. He plays every play like it’s his last, and that’s all you can ask.