When watching Desert Ridge play football on friday nights, it’s hard to miss their safety Brad Beaver. The senior is a three year starter who seems to always be in the right place when big plays need to be made whether it’s making a tackle or being in the right place that forces offenses to have to make adjustments.
Beaver is putting it all out on the line for his senior year as he wants to go out with a bang after just coming up short in the state championship game last season. So much so that he is playing with a big cast on his right hand because of a broken thumb.
“Not at all,” said Beaver when asked if a broken thumb is going to keep him off the field. “I broke it against Tucson and there was no question.”
“When you have a three-year starter like him, honestly you put the game plan in and he knows whats going on, he knows his keys,” mentioned Desert Ridge head coach Jeremy Hathcock. “He’s rare. I am kind of upset he’s a senior. We’re going to miss him.”
Beaver’s play on the field is inspirational for his teammates with how he puts it all out on the line but it pails in comparison to the impact he makes away from the game of football. Beaver has been a part of the Challenger Little League Buddy program since it began in March 2012. In September of that year, he met a young boy named Kyler Hastings.
“During spring every year we go out and every special needs kid has a buddy,” explained Beaver. “I’ve been working with Kyler for four years now. It’s incredible.”
“He has cerebral palsy and the fact that he comes out and plays baseball he runs and everything without help,” he added. “I’m impressed because he wears leg braces and everything but he still runs and I got to keep up with him and everything.”
The two have formed a friendship that has not just been great for Kyler, but Brad has been impacted and inspired just as much if not more.
“First time I ever met him he was shy, awkward, all quiet and everything but since then, he’s opened up and it’s been real cool,” Beaver said. “He’s made me a better person overall.”
“The way he helps kids, he’s really selfless,” mentioned Coach Hathcock. “In our society with social media, it’s very hard to find selfless kids…it just reaffirms why I do what I do and it makes me proud to be his coach.”