“I didn’t think I’d get anything. I figured if I didn’t get Western Slope I wouldn’t get All-State.”
— MCHS senior football player Zach Beauchamp about his 3A All-State Honorable Mention selection
Over two months after the Moffat County High School football season ended, one Bulldog got the biggest award of the year.
Senior Zach Beauchamp, a defensive lineman for Moffat County, earned a 3A All-State Honorable Mention selection.
Beauchamp had spent much of the season, along with the rest of the Bulldog defensive line, in the backfields of opponents, recording 23.5 sacks on the year. Despite not making the postseason and playing less games than many counterparts, those 23.5 sacks were still more than any other player in any classification in Colorado, according to MaxPreps.com.
He said it was an honor to receive, and it came at a time when he had basically forgotten about football.
“I didn’t think I’d get anything,” Beauchamp said. “I figured if I didn’t get Western Slope I wouldn’t get All-State.”
Beauchamp said he was out of Craig when the teams were released Dec. 23 by the Denver Post. He didn’t know he had made the All-State team until a friend who saw it in the paper called him.
Beauchamp said he felt vindicated after hearing of the honor.
He had not earned a spot on any of the All-Western Slope League teams despite his stellar regular season. It was a strange feeling for Beauchamp soon after the season, who had believed he played among the best in the league.
“At first I was like maybe I didn’t have that great of a season,” he said of when the WSL teams were announced. “I was just kind of like, ‘Well, alright.'”
While the All-WSL selections are voted on by just the WSL coaches, the All-State teams are picked by coaches and writers from across the state. Beauchamp’s name may have gotten lost in the shuffle in the first vote, but his sack numbers were too high to ignore for the rest of the state.
MCHS football coach Kip Hafey said he’s had players miss out on league honors then make the state team. He said it is often a result of the player making an impression on the coaches of non-conference opponents.
“The non-league teams you play, when you get nominated by some of those non-league teams, that goes a long way,” Hafey said. “They’ll look at your stats and they’ll take nominations from coaches. That’s awesome.”
Beauchamp was one of Moffat County’s captains and played on both the offensive and defensive lines. But as Hafey said, he made his mark coming off the edge on defense.
“Zach was always someone our opponents had to account for when they played us,” he said. “They knew he was going to be coming fast at defensive end and he made a lot of quarterbacks suffer.”
Beauchamp was also a model in practice and off the field, Hafey said.
“He worked hard and is a great kid,” he said. “He’s definitely deserving and should be excited.”
Beauchamp said he was excited when he found out. He thanked his coaches for helping him get there, and said the selection added a bonus to the end of his high school football career.
“I was happy,” he said. “It was surreal. It helps a lot (to make All-State). It’s a nice closing feeling.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com