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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Bishop Luers senior Dan Beckman was named to the All-SAC first-team and is a key cog for a team trying to win its fourth straight Class 2A state title.

Working hard on the line

Luers senior key to defense for state champions

– Danny Beckman is the prototypical defensive lineman.

The Bishop Luers senior tackle is big, strong, hardworking and not worried about the publicity that eludes the guys in the trenches.

Despite playing alongside some more-heralded teammates, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound Beckman is happy anchoring one of the state’s most talented defenses.

“The linemen just go about doing their job,” Beckman said before practice Wednesday as the No. 5 Knights (8-4) prepare for a regional showdown against No. 4 Tipton (11-1) tonight. “They don’t worry about getting the glory. They would like to, but we know what our job is, and we keep doing it.”

After getting second-team All-SAC honors the past two years, Beckman was recognized by the league’s coaches this year with first-team honors and is one of the key cogs for a program trying to win its fourth straight Class 2A state championship.

Not bad for a guy who broke his hand a month ago and has been playing with a cast ever since.

“He comes to work everyday and does his job on the football field,” Luers interim coach Steve Keefer said.

“He comes to practice every day and just works his tail off. He is very strong and very forceful. He is the cornerstone of our defensive line.”

Keefer said Beckman isn’t the most vocal player but rather leads by example.

“He is definitely aggressive on the field and quiet, shy and reserved off the field,” Keefer said.

“The kids look up to him, and they definitely respect him. But he is not real outgoing.”

Despite not getting the attention of senior linebacker Jaylon Smith, a Notre Dame recruit, and senior safety TyVel Jemison, who has an offer from Purdue, Beckman has been a big reason why the Knights have only give up 15 points in the postseason and shut out a potent Churubusco offense 21-0 last week in the sectional finals.

While the offense has struggled with consistency and penalties, the Luers defense has gotten better each week.

“We have had a lot of the same starters on the defense the last two and three years,” Beckman said. “We have been together for a long time, and we have been doing great this year. The postseason we really came together.

“We have to pick apart what (opponents) are going to throw at us, but we have so many tools in our defense that it all comes together, and we can successfully stop them.

“We have really had to hold it down this year because that offense hasn’t been the most consistent, but we try to get them back on the field as soon as we can so they can score as many points.”