Monty Beisel of Douglass High School in Kansas is the 1997 Bigger Faster Stronger Athlete of the Year. He becomes the 18th recipient of this most prestigious award. Selection is based on athletic achievement in sports, the ability to overcome obstacles, scholarship, leadership, general character and the ability to put life into its proper persepective. Monty has proven his worth in all of the above areas and is most deserving of this award.
At the press conference for the presentation, Monty stated, "This big surprise of being selected as Athlete-of-the-Year was just overwhelming to me and my family. This is right up there with Parade All-American, this is major. This is kind of capping off my career. It makes me feel really good."
The first time I saw Monty in person, it took me one second to realize that he was the real deal. He posesses a lean, muscular and sturdy 6'4, 235-pound frame. However, his legs are that of an elite 25 year-old strong man. All of his dedication in the weight room just added a lot of frosting on his genetic cake.
Monty just entered Kansas State on a football scholarship, but he could have also gone with track or signed a baseball contract. He rushed for 2,127 yards in only nine games for an 8.9 yard average. Monty scored 28 touchdowns and 184 total points. His total all purpose yard added up to 2,362 yards. Monty also played defense and was credited with 102 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss for minus 83 yards, 5 Quarterback Sacks for minus 37 yards and a multitude of other defensive gems.
Practically every post season honor available came Monty's way: First team Parade All-American, All-State, Shrine Bowl All Star and an All-America game in Florida where he started at linebacker on the winning West squad. Monty was amazed at the quality of the players. In his dorm of six players, Monty's 3.7 GPA was the lowest of the group.
Monty has always played four sports (football, basketball, track and baseball). His whole high school career was spent playing sports 12 months a year. In spite of this hectic schedule, Monty has always lifted at least twice a week his entire career. Baseball may be his best sport. Monty has played in 5 world series tournaments and won one national championship. Pro baseball was ready to offer a deal but Monty decided to follow in his dad's footsteps and play football at Kansas State.
"The Kansas State football program has come a long ways," Monty reasoned. "Also, I already knew some athletes here. I just feel real comfortable and I wanted to stay close to home. I haven't thought too much about a major, but I might possibly go into coaching. Pharmacy may also be an option. The ultimate would be to coach at the college level."
Monty has never used drugs or alcohol. "When I go to parties, they are non-alcohol parties. I've never tried even one beer because it takes you in a direction you don't want to go. I don't think there's any time or place for drugs or alcohol. If you want to achieve the goals you set for yourself, these negative things can only set you back" Monty doesn't even drink soda pop. He has been off of it for over three years and through his example, Monty's younger brothers also stay away from soda pop.
"Helping my little brothers is important to me," Monty said. "I enjoy teaching them how to do things."
Monty set goals in all sports and in the classroom where he maintained a 3.7 high school GPA. He never missed a class unless he was really sick and was never tardy or late with assignments. Monty remarked, "My papers were typed, complete with sources."
Monty calls his dad "Coach B" everywhere, even at home. "It's just a habit I guess," Monty explained. "I'd feel weird calling him 'dad'. He rides me harder than anybody." Monty's dad, Doug Beisel, is the head football coach at Douglass High School. "My dad makes an example out of me," Monty continued. "One day I smarted off to him in track. He told me I had to run two miles in 12 minutes or I couldn't go to regionals."
Mondy did it in 11:59. "We laugh about it now," Monty said. "I'm glad my dad pushed me as hard as he did. It paid off. We are very close. He's the one I usually go to when I have a decision to make.
"My mom was a volleyball player at Kansas State. She's been a tremendous supporter of me. Without my parents, there is no way I could have accomplished what I have."
Monty has three rules on being successful: work, work and work. "Never give up," he advised. "Keep going, keep striving, for the goals you set."
Finally, Monty reflected on his home and family. "I can't envision kids being in gangs or coming home to people who don't care. I feel fortunate to have my family and to live in a small town in Kansas. I know it's been a sheltered life so far, but I see it as having been a plus."
We thank Monty and his family for being such a great Upper Limit example and wish him our best in what should be a wonderful future.