COVINGTON, Ga. — Jordan Beam already has the kind of soccer experiences that some who’ve played a full four years of high school or college soccer don’t get. But none of that has kept him from continuing to be teachable and humble even as he begins working his way through high school.
Beam, our 2018 Boys Freshman of the Year, shares with sports editor Gabriel Stovall on what his first year playing for Eastside was like.
STOVALL: We know that you’re unlike most freshman soccer players, given the international experiences you’ve had, but what was it like getting into high school and playing with your every day teammates?
BEAM: “It was a really fun group for me, because all these people who were seniors, back when I first started at Galaxy they were the group that was like one year ahead of me. I started playing at Galaxy early, but they were the ones I looked up to. Now, when I came into my first year in high school, having a chance to play with them was awesome because they were like my idols.”
STOVALL: Before you joined Eastside’s team you were showcasing your talents and learning your craft in Lisbon, Portugal, and you’ve been other places. How cool of an opportunity is that for you to have at such an early age?
BEAM: “Oh, I mean it’s great. You know, some people will ask me about that and I tell them it’s just a thing where you get to experience something a lot of people don’t experience. And playing in those places really helps you understand what it takes to get to the next level because the game is just so much more advanced. It’s nothing like what it is here in America. It’s like the ticket out. It’s like basketball and football is here in America.”
STOVALL: With that said, how do you downshift or adjust yourself when you come from those international circles back home to playing high school ball?
BEAM: “Well, you never try to go down. You just keep the same level and you play the same way all throughout, no matter who you’re playing against or where you’re playing. Playing in places abroad really taught me work ethic, and specifically it taught me about working off the ball and not with the ball. Doing that influences so much throughout the game and it’s different than just trying to be the best athlete on the field. It’s more mental.”
STOVALL: What was your biggest challenge and your greatest highlight during the season?
BEAM: “Well for starters, the biggest challenge was just being a freshman and being the smaller one on the field. But you learn through that to play to your advantages, and so I tried to use my agility more and learned to adjust my style of play accordingly. And as for my biggest highlight, I’d have to say it was the Social Circle game. I scored a hat trick there, but really it was just a big win for the seniors on senior night. More than just a hat trick, I felt like playing that well was my gift to them, sort of saying farewell.”
STOVALL: Given that there’s so much young talent at Eastside, both on the boys and girls’ sides, where do you think these programs can go over the next several years?
BEAM: “The girls just keep getting better and better, and I think they can either be region champs if not region runners up for like the next eight years. That’s just how much young talent they’ve got coming in. For the boys and our age, we’ve got our freshman group. And we have stretches where there’s a little bit of talent and it’s gone again and then it doesn’t pick back up right away. I think some of that is because the Covington Galaxy program hasn’t been quite the same as it was at one point. And everything local is just kind of gone as guys move up."
STOVALL: Finally, how are you planning on spending the rest of your summer and making it beneficial to your improvement?
BEAM: “Camps on camps on camps. I’ll be traveling to camp with my ODT, I think in July, and then I’ll be going to the GSA camp with my coaches that they do every year, so it’ll just be a lot of work.”