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Josie Beachy has worked hard to help her team, and herself, grow

For the past three seasons, the Perham Yellowjacket girls tennis team has had one name at the top of the lineup: Josie Beachy. The senior leader continues to help the team's resurgence on the tennis court.

Perham senior Josie Beachy focuses in on the return of serve during a match with Park Rapids Area. Beachy has been a stalworth member of the Yellowjacket tennis team throughout her career. Jason Groth/FOCUS
Perham senior Josie Beachy focuses in on the return of serve during a match with Park Rapids Area. Beachy has been a stalworth member of the Yellowjacket tennis team throughout her career. Jason Groth/FOCUS

For the past three seasons, the Perham Yellowjacket girls tennis team has had one name at the top of the lineup: Josie Beachy. The senior leader continues to help the team's resurgence on the tennis court.

Beachy has been a member of the varsity team since she was in seventh grade. She began as a fourth singles player, working her way up to the No. 3 spot during her eighth and ninth grade seasons. Her sophomore year, she made the leap to No. 1 singles, a spot she has played at ever since.

"She has developed a lot these last three years. She is an all-purpose player," Perham head coach Jameson Miller said. "She doesn't do just one thing. She can be offensive and can be defensive when she wants, and I think that's why she has a really high ceiling. She has improved a lot each year. She is having a great senior year, but I expect if she does go on and play in college that her ceiling will be higher yet. Her game is well-rounded."

Tennis is something that has always been a part of Beachy's life. She is the daughter of Ryan and Tanya Beachy, who are raising a family full of athletes. Josie's older brother, Eli, was a three time state participant, in track, football and basketball. Her younger brother, Jenson, is the starting quarterback for the Yellowjacket football team and a starting guard for the basketball team. This year, Josie gets to share the tennis court with her younger sister, Avery, who is a member of the Yellowjacket team, as well.

Coming from a family that's highly regarded athletically has helped motivate and build drive for Beachy. Her win-loss record continues to improve each year with the Yellowjackets. Currently, she is 12-8 with two third place finishes during the Moose Invitational and the Mid-State Conference Tournament. Her 2015 campaign ended with 14 wins and a strong run through the Section 8A individual tournament, where she finished in third place overall.

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"My dad was very athletic when he was younger and has always told me to be happy with what I'm doing and work hard for it," Beachy said. "You can see in his coaching ability, in his younger years, he was very, very successful. My older brother had multiple state appearances. It kind of puts pressure on me to get there. My younger brother is all over the place with sports. He has a lot of potential to go places and I believe he will."

Miller said Beachy has become mentally tough over the last couple of years, and the team has been fortunate to have her playing at the very difficult spot of No.1 singles. She's come a long way since joining the team as a quiet middle schooler.

"I was more of the shy new kid. Now and the year before, I have grown into these girls and how great they are," Beachy said. "I can tell how everything has been going uphill since last year to the beginning of this year, with the really big strides from our coaches, our team and myself."

Beachy has played an integral role in the team's growing process, and continues to improve as a player. The Yellowjackets hope they can make a run in the Section 8A Tournament and earn a berth to state this year, while Beachy also hopes to make a run at the Class A State Tournament.

"I hope we can, as a team, get to state; and if that doesn't happen, get there for myself," Beachy said. "If not, hopefully get close to being there and having a good, strong season."

One of the attributes Beachy has that Miller hopes rubs off on her teammates is the amount of work she puts in away from team practices. She frequently enlists the help of friends and family members to improve her game.

"She is a very hard worker and takes a lot of pride in what she does," Miller said. "She will spend a lot of hours working on her own...and people don't see that. They see her on the court during match day and just think she is naturally good. She puts in a lot of hours. That is the big thing I hope kids get from her, is her work ethic."

Beachy hopes to continue her tennis career in college, with that being her main goal right now. Currently, she hasn't made a decision on where to attend school, but she has time to make that decision.

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For now, Beachy and the Yellowjackets have their sights set on the end of the regular season and the Section 8A Tournament. The team continues its regular season run with a dual meet against Detroit Lakes on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Perham High School tennis courts.

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