Ligonier Valley’s Beitel has learned life lessons from strong family leaders | Local Sports

There are many things that are said about being the coach’s kid. There are the perks of being a waterboy/ball boy, getting the sideline pass, and team gear. And, there are definitely the challenges of being the coach’s kid too. Everybody knows who you are. Some think you get more playing time, while others know the coach is usually harder on his/her child.

Ligonier Valley senior Nick Beitel has fit the role of “coach’s son” for quite some time. Nick is the son of football head coach Roger and Amy Beitel. Nick seems to have released the role and has thrived being challenged by all, including his father.

“Having your dad as a coach is definitely a unique experience,” said Nick. “He’s probably the hardest on me out of everyone on the team and in the classroom, but I’m beyond appreciative of him and everything he has done for me. We have had our moments where we don’t see eye-to-eye on the field and in the classroom – but that’s going to happen when it’s your dad as your teacher/coach.”

Beitel has grown up in the Ligonier Valley High School football program. He’s been at LVHS and Weller field all of his life. He appreciates the moments he’s been able to share with his father in both the educational and athletic aspects.

“Growing up on the sideline has influenced my life beyond words can describe,” Nick explained. “The life lessons and learning experiences that my dad is able to teach us through football are unmatched. He’s taught me, and my teammates, that the effort you put forth has a direct correlation to its result. Doing something lazily, but quickly, will only eventually make more, longer, work for yourself. The amount of effort reflects how much you care.”

And, anyone who knows Coach Beitel knows that is a trademark lesson he seems to share with his athletes, and, obviously, his sons. The coach takes his role at Ligonier Valley quite seriously and strives for success at all levels each and every day. He is an advocate for his athletes, his school, and the programs at Ligonier Valley.

“My dad has been the coach at Ligonier Valley for over 18 years,” said Nick. “He’s coached hundreds of kids throughout those years. Some of those players even live-in and have kids in the district. So, to see your dad be able to affect the lives of so many people for so many years is really something that can’t be appreciated enough.”

With his father’s blessing, Nick has decided to attend Washington and Jefferson College to play football. Excited, he’s sure to take many of the lessons taught by his dad and other coaching staff with him to Washington, PA, where his brother, Zach, already attends and plays a role on the football team.

“I’m excited and anxious to get to W&J,” Nick enthused. “My brother and I were on the same team for one year at Ligonier. During that time, we won the conference, Appalachian Bowl, and made it to the District Six championship. To be on the team with him again, and to know you have the same mindset of going and winning championships – it’s something that I’m just really excited about.”

Nick said W&J just felt like him. “It offered my major (finance), and has a great program,” he explained. “Coach Sirianni and Coach Jaz recruited me and made the school and football program stand out from the rest. While at WJ, my ultimate goal is to graduate and earn my degree. Another goal is to win a national championship.”

Unsurprisingly, Nick is a leader on his athletic teams, in the classroom, and in extra-curricular activities. Having a coach and teacher as a father, and a mom who is the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce – not to mention a brother as a Beta-Scholar on the dean’s list — Nick has learned through the actions of his family. He’s been successful in Future Business Leaders of America, is quite often the captain, the teammate motivating and guiding others, and a young man who is willing to serve his community. Nick understands the importance of working together and sharing a common goal to succeed and knows the leader can guide all to achieve that. While his dad is a well-known leader who has influenced him, he also credits his mom.

“My mom has been my number one fan and supported me my whole life,” he said. “She has attended every sporting event she could and has gone out of her way to support me countless times. She’s traveled with me all over for tournaments and even held the house down with me while my dad was away at football camp. Seeing how proud I make my mom during sports is something that has continued to help drive me athletically.”

While some believe our youths aren’t interested in making a difference in their community, Nick is one of those young men who have a great interest in being active. “Both of my parents have jobs where there is a lot of community involvement,” he explained. “I think it is very important because they are people who go out and support you on Friday nights and make those moments special. For me, to give back to my community is paramount.”

Believing society today to be the biggest challenge for high school grown athletes, Nick said we’ve too used to making excuses for everything and everyone that when it’s time to hold yourself or others accountable, it is difficult.

“I work to overcome that by trying my hardest to block out all the outside distractions during sports,” said Nick. “Seeking to always improve and learn is what keeps me motivated. Going a day without finding a way to make yourself better is, to me, a wasted day. I try to waste no days and always find ways to learn.”

And with that mindset, Nick has high expectations of his baseball team for his final season. He doesn’t want him or his teammates to waste any opportunities.

“We’re an old, experienced team,” Nick explained. “Coach Bush, I feel, has done a good job at connecting with us – he met us for the first time in the fall. I feel as though we should be a good baseball team and find success if everyone does his job. I see us being a conference championship baseball team.”

And to do that, Nick said he will contribute in any way he needs to. “From pitching, catching, and infield, I play all over,” he said. “So, whatever I have to do to put the team in the best position to win is what I’ll do.”

Nick has been part of the changes at LV as well. He experienced success with his teams in the Heritage Conference of district six, the first wins in the WPIAL, and the COVID-19 pandemic seasons, (and lack thereof). Reflecting on those things, Nick believes the school’s weight program has set them apart from others and is evident for athletes who go on to play at the next level. He also thinks his school has done a great job of showing the doubters that the Rams can hang with the schools in the WPIAL.

Ligonier Valley does “hang” with the other schools in competition, and it is because of scholar student-athletes like Nick Beitel who excel in the classroom and the role models they have within the halls of LVHS and at home. Nick Beitel is another example of Ram Pride, with a family of Rams who give of themselves to the Ligonier Valley School District and community on a daily basis. It’s refreshing, among all the bad in the world, to find the good and hang on to it!


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