Brandon Beaver knew what we wanted to do.
"This is what I'd hoped for since I started," said the Centralia High School senior after signing a letter of intent for cross country at Kaskaskia College. "It was my goal to run in college."
Beaver began running in third grade and after a standout career at Willow Grove Grade School, moved on to CHS where he was a sectional qualifier both his junior and senior years.
"Brandon's a hard worker who came to practice ready to run," said Centralia coach Roger Stieg. "He was always willing to do what was asked of him and do his best to be a better runner.
"He's a quality student-athlete who'll represent CHS well."
Both the Orphans and Kaskaskia College teams use Foundation Park for training and that helped draw the attention of KC coach Mike Hargis to his latest signee.
"You could tell he was dedicated and from watching him in a race, you could see the improvement in his times," said Hargis. "That tells you he's interested in making himself better and Brandon has a great work ethic."
There will be a major change in going from high school to college in the length of the course, Beaver acknowledged.
"That's probably the biggest difference - going from three miles to five," said Beaver who'll stay in shape this spring by running track and continuing on his own over the summer. "That's an adjustment I've got to make."
"You're going from a 5K [in high school] to an 8K race [in college]," said Hargis. "But we feel Brandon's big upside is his endurance and we think the longer distance will work out better for him."
"We're always glad to see a runner move on to the next level and we've had some run for coach Hargis at Kaskaskia," said Stieg. "This [signing] shows the way for the other kids and what they can do if they're willing to work hard like Brandon has."
A high-honors student at Centralia, Beaver plans to major in Agri- Business or Accounting.
Pictured are (seated) Clay Beaver (father), Brandon Beaver, and Kyla Beaver (mother). Standing is Centralia Coach Roger Stieg and KC Coach Mike Hargis.
Story written by Randy List of the Centralia Sentinel.