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In heart, Beale stands tall


Bobby Beale has been lined up at almost every football position imaginable since be began playing the game in the midget leagues.

He has been an offensive guard, a tight end, a linebacker, a free safety and a running back.

It just seems that most football coaches don't know where to play Beale, whose body is always one of the smallest on the team but whose heart is big enough for the whole team.

That heart has helped propel the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Glen Burnie senior running back to some big numbers this fall.

He leads the county in touchdowns with 10 for the 4-2 Gophers and is second in the county in rushing with 707 yards on 108 carries.

Some say Beale must be doing it with mirrors because heart can only take a person so far and then talent and size are needed.

Enter Glen Burnie coach Dave Rigot: "Bobby's just a real good, hard runner. He has a quick first step, good acceleration and loves to play the game. He never wants to come off the field. A lot of times it looks like he is going to get stopped but he keeps on going for five, six or seven more yards," he said.

There are a few more secrets to his success, said Beale.

"My strong legs keep me going. I not only run with the team every day in practice but I get up on Saturday and Sunday mornings and run two miles on my own," he said. "I know my size is small, so I run harder and use more initiative."

Beale's desire and drive also have gained him admiration from opposing coaches and players.

"A lot of them tell me I'm a real tough kid," he said. "Coach [Chuck] Markiewicz [North County] and Coach [Bill] Zucco [Arundel] both talked to me after the game and said they liked how tough I am."

The praise helps soothe some of the battle wounds Beale receives in every game.

Ice takes care of the rest of the pain.

"I have a lot of bruises after every game and I hurt my shoulder in the beginning of the season and then landed on it the wrong way in the Annapolis game," he said. "I get hurt and still play. I once played with bruised ribs against Old Mill."

With only four regular-season games left in his two-year varsity career, Beale has asked Rigot to give him a lot more playing time on defense in addition to his tailback duties.

"I want to start hitting somebody," said Beale, who has been used sparingly as a linebacker and will move to free safety. "I'm tired of getting hit. I got in on defense for only three plays against Annapolis [two weeks ago] and had two tackles and one sack. I want to play the whole game on defense."

Rigot would love to have Beale on defense every play but the thought of it makes him cringe.

"He's always around the ball, but how much can you ask of a kid like Bobby?" said Rigot. "He's the whole package as a football player. He takes a lot of punishment every time he runs the ball."

L Rigot believes Beale's best game as a running back came last

Friday night in a 29-12 loss to unbeaten Arundel at Glen Burnie.

"They were bringing eight people and everybody was ganging up to stop him and he still got 112 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries," said Rigot.

Like any player, Beale loves the wins and touchdowns, but his appreciation for the game goes much deeper than stats and W's and L's.

"My biggest thrill in football has been this season's team," he said. "We don't have as good a team as last year [6-4 record], but we're doing better because a lot of us are working together. We don't have a single star and everybody gets the same treatment."

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