by Chase Parker–
Some say that speed kills. Others say that it is a way of life. For Blacksburg High School’s star running back Coleton Beck, it is the latter.
At the start of the 2016 football season, Beck was a fairly unknown athlete. Outside of local fans, virtually nobody knew his name. But by the season’s end, he had become the most highly-recruited player out of Southwest Virginia, gaining scholarship offers from big-time programs such as Pittsburgh, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia Tech, according to WSLS.com.
The local star boasts a 100-meter dash time so fast (10.41 seconds) that he is nearly within qualifying range for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team, which requires a time of 10.16 seconds, according to Flotrack.org. That type of quickness isn’t something that comes natural, either.
“I wasn’t always the fastest kid around,” Beck said. “I started strength, speed and agility training with former NFL linebacker Dennis Haley along with running track in the seventh grade. I’ve been fortunate to have great coaching ever since, including my current high school sprint coach Steve Schmitt.”
The speed that the local football star has gained over the years has helped evolve him into not only a highly-touted athlete, but a coach’s best friend as well.
Thad Wells, the head honcho of the Blacksburg High School football team, says that Beck is the fastest player he’s ever coached. Furthermore, he claims that having a player with speed like Beck’s makes his job much easier.
“Coaching a player like Beck reminds you that the game is simple,” Wells explained. “It comes down to the players. I just don’t want to over-complicate things.”
Despite Beck’s production, Wells still says that there is room to grow for the senior running back, and that Beck won’t reach his full potential until he gets into a collegiate lifting program.
Beck posted a list of his top three college choices to his personal Twitter page on Sept. 14, 2017. The finalists include UNC, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh. Even though anticipation is building, Beck says that he has no timeline regarding when he will announce his commitment.
The speedster hopes that his athleticism will give him the ability to make his dreams in collegiate and professional sports come true.
“My career goals are to be successful at the division one level, maybe the NFL and to make the U.S. Olympic Team as a sprinter,” Beck said.