Sam L. Beck - was a champion before he played his first game of varsity football at Gray High School. Little “Sammy” was the starting quarterback for two junior high teams that won state championships under the “old school” alignment.
Coach Tom Cash at Gray knew he had a winner when he spotted the veteran’10th grader. It was a given that Sammy could direct the newly installed T-option and hide behind the line at the same time. Beck proved to be the straw that stirred the drink. He guided Gray High to glory for the 3 years he played varsity. Coach Wilburn Clary and the Children’s Home seemed to have Gray’s number for years, but it is said that Beck hastened Clary’s entry into the Sporting Goods Business.
The “little general” was named All-City, All-Conference (1952); Member, Piedmont Bowl 1953 (starting quarterback and safety); All-State, Honorable Mention. The Brevard Hoover Award, presented as Gray High’s MVP, was Beck’s proudest moment. The award was presented by the great Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice.
After graduation, It was quite natural that the next stop would be Appalachian State University. After then, a hitch in the Air Force and again playing football all over, Beck was convinced it was time to coach and “pass it on.”
Coach Beck has proven to be a coaching evangelist. Along the way, he has established outstanding programs at Forbush, Hanes (9-10), and and Woodland Christian School.
Beck has coached for 30 years and been an Athletic Director for 24 years. About all he can do now is show a kid how to punt. The record shows that he once punted in a game - averaging 38.5.