Chad Beebe makes immediate impact in return from injury
By Rick Armstrong email@example.com October 29, 2012 8:54PM
Aurora Christian wide receiver Chad Beebe returned from injury to catch three touchdown passes in last week’s 49-12 win over Raby. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Second round games
Oswego (9-1) at Benet, (9-1), 7:30 p.m.
Waubonsie Valley (9-1) at Oak Park (7-3), 1 p.m.
Kaneland (10-0) at Lincoln-Way West (7-3), 1 p.m.
Aurora Christian (9-1) at Immaculate Conception (7-3), 1 p.m.
Stark County (8-2) at Mooseheart (9-1), 4 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:24PM
The cousin connection was back at it for Aurora Christian Friday when the Eagles opened defense of their state title in the IHSA Class 3A playoffs..
Senior wide receiver Chad Beebe returned to the lineup after a five-week layoff for a broken bone in his arm and didn’t miss a beat.
He provided sudden impact for ACS quarterback — and his cousin — Ryan McQuade, with a 72-yard TD pass reception on the first play from scrimmage in Eagles’ 49-12 win over Raby.
“I was glad to be back, obviously I love being on the field,” said Beebe, who missed time due to injury each of the previous two seasons, too.
“Last year I really struggled with it (broken collarbone, shoulder separation) and didn’t understand it. This year, was a lot different. I found strength in prayer and told myself, ‘It’s not just about you.’ And the team stepped up big time.”
They did, rolling to an 8-1 regular season record, arguably against the program’s toughest schedule ever. That they did it with McQuade — a first-time varsity starter at QB — missing his favorite target for half the season speaks volumes about the team’s talent and depth.
Beebe, who had area bests of 39 catches for 597 yards and 10 TDs through four weeks, added four for 113 yards and three TDs in Week 10.
“We were pretty much next door neighbors for about nine years, until they moved to Aurora,” said McQuade, whose mother Diane is the sister of Chad’s dad and ACS head coach Don Beebe.
“Growing up, we were together every waking moment.”
Chad Beebe said their pass-catch connection grew stronger as McQuade battled for the starter’s job as successor to Anthony Maddie (Western Michigan).
“Early on we played flag football and youth tackle together,” Chad Beebe said. “Our work this past summer, especially when we went to a 7-on-7 national tournament in Arkansas, helped a lot.”
The result was the fast start that was unfortunately cut short by Chad Beebe’s injury, suffered in practice.
Next up is Saturday’s second-round date at Immaculate Conception in the second meeting of the season between Suburban Christian Conference rivals.
Beebe missed the first, a 47-20 Eagles’ win in Week 7. McQuade is happy to have him back.
“There was definitely an adjustment period when he went down. He’s always a great presence,” McQuade said.
Asked what he missed with Beebe out of the lineup, he responded with a smile, “Besides the fact he’s a D-1 (Northern Illinois) receiver? He’s so quick and can catch anything. He’s a great receiver.”
McQuade has quickly developed into another in what is becoming a long line of outstanding QBs at the school.
“(Playing for my uncle) is different, at times,” McQuade said. “But it’s been very comfortable for me. He knows so much about football, it’s awesome.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is the importance of preparation. That’s key. Every week (Don Beebe) comes up with something new for an opponent, but we prepare a lot every day.
“And then, during a game he may even come up with something and it’s like you’re drawing it up in the backyard. It’s a lot of fun.”