Freshman Quarterback Adjusts to Tougher Competition

Freshman Quarterback Adjusts to Tougher Competition
Photo by: Mf Photography

When star quarterback Evan Vanevenhoven went down with an injury during the first game of the year, one player’s world completely turned around. 

Freshman Ashton Vanbeek went onto the field to finish the game for the Rockets. He found himself in a completely different world.

“The competition is a lot quicker and it’s a lot more contact, so it’s harder.”

Vanbeek was used to playing against his own age so going straight to varsity was a big step for him.

Vanbeek mentioned nerves as a big factor early on in the season. He explained how everyone’s eyes were on him, and that he wanted to do great to prove to his teammates that he belonged with the rest of them.

 He explained that he needed to work unbelievably hard to catch up on his skills to get to the varsity level.

Going into his first start of the season Vanbeek felt a lot of pressure. 

Being a rivalry game, the stakes were high. Vanbeek really wanted to show that he belonged.

He was nervous about the game because he knew that he was the starter and so did everyone else coming to the game. 

But once he got through the first few plays, the nervous feelings crept away.

Vanbeek confirmed that all of that work to make varsity really paid off. He explained that since being on varsity his skillset has gotten significantly better through varsity coaching. confirms that Vanbeek has 748 yards passing and a combined nine touchdowns through nine games. A good season for anyone, let alone a freshman. 

Although being the quarterback brought stress and pressure to Vanbeek, the job also has some perks. 

He said how he has gotten to know plenty of people through being on varsity. 

Vanbeek also shared that it is nice to be the quarterback because he senses a level of respect from people around the school. 

“ It’s just kind of cool to be the guy around school sometimes.”

Vanbeek credited the Rockets’ seven-win, two-loss regular season record to the people around him. 

He explained that his teammates made his job easier by doing theirs exceptionally well. He said that he felt like his offensive lineman did a great job all season at protecting him and giving him plenty of time to throw the ball. 

With playoffs starting, Vanbeek shared great excitement about the subject. He said that he has never had a postseason in football because he only played regular-season games in middle school. 

He expressed optimism about the postseason because he thought that he was around a solid team that could penetrate deep into the bracket.

With the success he reached this year, Ashton Vanbeek is excited for what is left to come in the postseason and the next three years of his high school football career.


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