Former Perham High School graduate and current Lake Park-Audubon teacher Eli Beachy has been named the new head coach of the Lake Park-Audubon football team, pending school board approval. Beachy made the announcement on his personal Facebook page last week.
“It feels absolutely amazing and I can’t really put into words how excited I am for this opportunity,” Beachy said. “I have been waiting for this chance, for this opportunity pretty much my whole life, ever since I have been on the sidelines watching my dad coach since I was six years old. It’s been a long time coming and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Beachy attended Concordia College and started out in the business field. However, he knew he wanted to coach and teach kids. He eventually took a job in Barnesville coaching seventh-grade basketball and realized he wanted to teach and help kids. He eventually enrolled in physical education and health and kept exploring coaching opportunities that he could. He eventually accepted a junior varsity basketball job at Lake Park. He became a student-teacher there and was eventually hired full-time.
Beachy was brought on as an assistant coach to the football team last season and is familiar with the kids and the school. Beachy said getting to know the kids the last year and a half will help him during the developmental phase of his program. He believes that if you give respect, you will get respect in return.
“I like to think that I’m able to build and develop really good relationships with my student-athletes. I take pride in being very personable with the students. My main mantra is if I give respect, I’ll get respect,” Beachy said. “I believe that students are looking for respect and if you can respect them, their opinions and their wishes and needs, they are going to play hard for you and will respect you back. I think my experience of already being in LPA will help greatly with taking over this program, instilling a culture that will be based on respect, hardwork and doing your job correctly. I’m really excited.”
Beachy said he has three pillars that he believes are the most important to a football team. He said they will stand for respect, which is respecting yourself and if you can’t do that, you can’t respect your teammates and coaches, according to Beachy. The second pillar of his program will be doing the right thing.
“Our program is going to stand by doing the right thing, being accountable, coming to school everyday with the intentions of getting better and following that with practice,” Beachy said.
“Lastly, we will base the program off of doing your job to the best of your ability. Everytime you get out to the practice field, you know it is time to go and you want to do your job to the best of your ability, whether it is in practice, lifting, film sessions, in the classroom or just in the community in general. Our program is going to stand on respect, do your job to the best of your ability and do the right thing.”
Beachy won’t have to look far for support. His biggest influence is his father, Ryan, who was longtime head coach at Staples-Motley and currently serves as the offensive coordinator with the Perham Yellowjackets.
“I have pictures of me being on the practice field when I was three years old,” Eli Beachy said. “That’s very clearly my No. 1 influencer. He has taught me so many things. He is the biggest influence why I think respect is the biggest thing to building a successful football team. One thing I learned from him is that he treats his athletes as family. They return the favor and play hard for him and respect him back. I believe that’s the best way to do it. I believe if you give the kids respect, they will do it back and there are only good things that can come from that.”
Beachy said fans can expect to see a hard-nosed football team that will get down to the basics. He said they will get down to the core of what they do best, do it to their best of their ability and then expand from there.
“I think it is important to start simple, keep things simple and make sure kids know what their job is and know that they can do it confidently and play fast,” Beachy said. “My background ever since I was a sixth-grader is the triple option. I love the option game. My team is going to run the option. We are going to start with the option and be a hard-nosed football team. We are going to get two-to-three yards when we can and that’s good enough, because if you can get three yards four times, that’s a first down. We are going to be a very hard-nosed, disciplined football team that runs the option and prides themselves on that.”
Beachy said the biggest thing for his first season is setting a foundation for his kids, so they can go on the football field with confidence.
“It’s really hard for me to put into words. I received the news on Tuesday morning and accepted right away,” Beachy said. “I gave out a little yell on the golf course as I was mowing when I got the call. I’ll never forget that moment where I was, who called me. It was a special time and about 10-15 seconds later, I started to tear up with excitement. I can't’ tell ya the last time that it happened and that’s about the best way I can put it.”