Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Beachwood football team gets creative in honoring teachers

Beachwood football coach Damion Creel knows it’s going to take a lot of work and creativity to turn around a program that has finished 6-24 since making the state playoffs in 2014. That work has resulted in a 3-0 start for the Bison, who opened the 2018 season with wins over Akron North, Collinwood and Warrensville Heights.

Creel’s creativity can be seen in the hallways at Beachwood every Friday thanks to the team’s new recognition program that honors teachers who have inspired Bison players in the classroom.

“I’m really close with one of the English teachers, Casey Matthews, and I’m just trying to build a culture here where football is important and we’re trying to develop relationships between our kids and the staff,” Creel said. “I saw this idea on Twitter when another school did it and I said, ‘Why not us?’”

Last week, Creel asked his players to identify the Beachwood staff members who have made an impact in their lives.

“I asked them to pick one member, it didn’t matter if it was a teacher, custodian, cafeteria worker or counselor, we had the whole spectrum,” Creel said. “We had secretaries too. Our kids stepped up throughout the day to build some camaraderie in the school. Beachwood isn’t known for football but we are a high academic institution. We’re trying to make football more important. If you have great spirit in the school the community feeds into it and that’s what we’re trying to.”

After a successful first week, Creel plans to make the jersey swap a tradition.

“The kids and the teachers loved it,” he said. “The teachers were overwhelmed with the kids coming to them and asking them to wear their jersey. We’re going to do it from now on.”

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Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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