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Electrifying 11
Making history

Beach leaving his mark on LHS record book

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Lafayette’s Jaxson Beach has set two school career passing records and is closing in on a rushing milestone too.

MAYO, Fla. — From Kerwin Bell through Brycen Lee, Lafayette High School has a knack for producing productive quarterbacks.

But even with all the success LHS quarterbacks have enjoyed, the school has never had one like Jaxson Beach.

Midway through his senior campaign, the two-time All-State quarterback has already set two school career records, has another in his sights and also shares a single-game passing record.

And while all of those records are nice, it’s a different record that drives Beach.

Electrifying 11

“I want them all, of course,” Beach admitted about the school marks. “Last year I knew I was getting close to some records, and I’m excited about getting the records.

“But I don’t worry too much about stats or touchdowns, I want to stay healthy and go undefeated for the season. I want to win 10 games and go to the playoffs.”

Thanks to the exploits of Beach and the Hornets’ potent spread offense, LHS is still undefeated heading into Friday’s clash with Dixie County, which is also unbeaten.

Through six games, the Hornets have rushed for 1,166 yards while throwing for 1,465 yards. LHS averages more than 35 points per game.

That damage starts with the dual-threat trigger man at quarterback.

“I love this offense,” LHS coach Mark Beach said. “I think it adapts to the team or player. And we’re creative enough and got a good signal caller to make it happen.”

With his son Jaxson at the controls, the Hornets have adapted it to take full advantage of his talents and to hide his shortcoming — the fact he is only 5-foot-11.

“It allows me to be able to be myself,” Jaxson Beach said. “I’m not a tall passer, I’m not a pocket passer.

“We run quick routes and we run plays that allow me to throw the ball quick or deep. It allows me to run, to get out of the pocket and do whatever we need to do to get touchdowns.

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Jaxson Beach has enjoyed directing Lafayette’s spread attack. 

“It’s a great offense and I wouldn’t want to run anything else.”

And Beach has a knack for finding those touchdowns too.

In the Hornets’ rout of Cedar Creek Christian on Sept. 13, Beach passed Lee (67) for the most passing scores in program history. He has now pushed that mark to 75.

A week later at Central Florida Christian Academy, Beach threw for 321 yards to once again knock Lee from the top of the school record books — this time for career passing yardage. Lee threw for 5,915 in his career from 2012-14. Beach now has 6,044 yards for his career.

And Beach has at least one more school record in his sights.

While Beach’s passing numbers certainly put him in the same category as Bell, Lee, Jared Moseley, Chad Hempstead, Aaron Lindsey and Nick Bracewell —former All-State quarterbacks at the school that he has passed to reach the top of the school record book, Beach brings another skill to the table.

He has also been one of the team’s best and most dangerous runners the past three seasons as well. Beach has rushed for 2,463 yards with 40 touchdowns in his career. That puts him just two scores behind former teammate Garris Edwards’ school record.

Not bad for a kid who didn’t start to play until he was in middle school.

“I wouldn’t let him play until late,” Mark Beach said. “I let him play everything else. I didn’t want to see him get tired of it. I wanted him to enjoy it and love it.

“It’s worked out well.”

Indeed.

As has the Beach family’s way of finding their way back to Mayo and the Hornets. In Mark Beach’s 12 years as a coach, this is his third time at LHS, where he served as offensive coordinator the previous three seasons before becoming head coach this year.

“We’ve always found a way to come back to Mayo, and we’ve always been accepted,” Mark Beach said. “He’s always wanted to compete, ever since he was little.

“He’s always been a Hornet and paid attention to great athletes. And he wanted to model them. Now he’s doing it and he takes great pride in who he is, and I think that’s why does so well.”

He’s done enough to garner the attention from a number of schools, including Cornell University, Stetson, Air Force and Valdosta State among others.

And Beach already knows what he’s looking for in his next destination.

“I’d like a good academic school and an offense that fits me,” he said.

He certainly has found that in Mayo. And in return, LHS has received a record-setting performance.

Jeff Shourds is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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