MINT HILL, NC – Jacob Beard, “Lefty”, was a consistent and reliable performer for the Stallions over the past four years on the baseball diamond. Unfortunately, he had his senior season come to an abrupt end due to COVID-19. He was expected to play a major role on the mound as a starter and relief pitcher for the team. When not pitching he would most likely be roaming in right field or at first base depending upon the lineup.
If the club was going to repeat winning the PAC 7 Conference and make a serious run at a state title, Beard had to have another solid season on the mound and in the field for the Stallions to remain successful.
At the request of Principal Josh Swartzlander, who has worked with this writer previously, we agreed to reach out to a few graduating student-athletes who made a positive contribution to the school during their tenure.
Q1. What are your most memorable moments as a student at QGHS?
Some of the most memorable moments from being a student at Queen’s Grant High School are probably having class and lunch with my teammates. We always had a great time, we had each other’s back and it brought us closer together.
Q2. What about on the baseball diamond?
It’s difficult to choose my most memorable moment from playing baseball. Therefore, I have to choose two moments. The first one is definitely winning our PAC 7 conference in my junior year. We all dog-piled and celebrated our team accomplishment. We practiced and worked hard every day to make each other better. The second had to be beating Lincoln Charter in the 11th inning in the second round of the playoffs junior year. It showed how much heart we had and belief in each other. It proved that we do not give up until the last out is recorded.
Q3. What are your next steps as you move forward from being a high school student-athlete into college including career field objectives?
As of right now, I have a full-time job at Sam’s Express Car Wash this summer. My plans for the future are not decided yet. I am not going to play baseball in college. I do love the game, but I feel as though my time as a player has come to a close. I hope to coach in the near future. I still love the game with a strong passion and I always will.
Q4. How do you feel about the impact COVID-19 had on your lost senior season?
I feel sad and disappointed that I am not able to finish my senior season of baseball. It’s crazy to think that I was only able to play 4 games this year. This season was going to be a build off of last year with another great team. Last year we were so close to our goal of winning a state title. I have learned so much from this experience about myself, coaches, teammates, and life. What I have learned is that you never know when you are going to play your last game. Play every game like it’s your last. Leave everything out on the field and give it your very best effort all the time.
Q5. What legacy would you like to leave behind as you graduate and move forward with your next step in life?
The message I would like to leave for my underclass teammates and soon to be Stallion baseball players is to work hard for everything. It does not matter your size or how strong you are as an athlete. What really matters is your attitude and your effort. Your teammates are your brothers we all make a contribution. Have pride, it’s an honor to wear Queens Grant on your jersey. Play with your heart on your sleeve and have no regrets. Lastly, believe in yourself and do not ever make excuses. Respect all, but fear none!