Beacham family rolls on at La Costa Canyon

Ben Beacham, a junior midfielder at La Costa Canyon High, was All-CIF and All-American as a sophomore.
Ben Beacham, a junior midfielder at La Costa Canyon High, was All-CIF and All-American as a sophomore.
(Bill Wechter/For the U-T)

Ben might be best lacrosse-loving star for the Mavericks


Kevin Cooper is in his sixth season as La Costa Canyon High’s boys lacrosse coach and every year has scribbled a Beacham brother’s name into the starting lineup.

The lineage started with Andrew, an undersized midfielder who willed himself to become the 2017 section player of the year when he led the Mavericks to an Open Division title. Andrew played collegiately at Towson.

Next in line was Noah, like Andrew, an All-CIF midfielder and All-American who’s now a freshman at No. 1-ranked Maryland.

But those who know a bit about cradling a ball in the webbing at the end of a stick insist the best of the Beachams is Ben, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior midfielder.

While saying all three Beachams were “great,” Torrey Pines coach Jono Zissi, who has coached Ben at the club level, says, “I do think Ben is the most talented and has the most upside. He’s by far the most highly touted of the brothers.”

Ben landed on the All-CIF team as a sophomore and like his siblings was named an All-American.

Said Cooper: “All three were incredible players, but Ben’s got the most potential, for sure.”

The genesis of the Beachams’ lacrosse tale dates back to when Andrew was a sixth-grader at Santa Fe Christian. The Solana Beach private school offers an introduction to students in a variety of sports and activities, ranging from dodge ball, weightlifting and flag football to lacrosse played with miniature “fiddle sticks” and foam balls.

Andrew had played traditional sports but fell hard for the sport created by Native Americans.

“It was a different sport, something I’d never seen before,” said Andrew. “I fell in love with it.”

His grandmother mailed him lacrosse books. He studied YouTube videos and within a year jumped from playing at the recreation level to a club team. Noah and Ben followed in Andrew’s footsteps, picking up the sport at younger ages.

The brothers were blessed to grow up in a Carlsbad home that sits on more than an acre. Like a kid who loves basketball and shoots for hours in the driveway, the Beachams didn’t have to hop on bikes and pedal to a park to hone skills. They just opened the back door and starting flinging passes and firing shots on goal.

The garage included three trash cans filled with sticks, gloves, pads and balls.

Asked how many balls the family accumulated, Ben said, “Going back to elementary school to now? I’d say thousands.”

They’ve soared and caromed off the cage into a neighbor’s yard and adjoining canyon.

Said the brothers’ father, Dave: “There’s been many a hunt into the canyon for 10, 20, 30 balls.”

At his size, Ben is strong enough to deal with the physical pounding an offensive midfielder draws from long-stick defenders. The strength is melded with athleticism.

“He just has a complete game,” said Zissi. “He can feed the ball (to teammates). He has great vision, can shoot it well with both hands, which is rare.”

But what separates Ben from others, said Zissi, is something that can’t be taught: a passion for the game and Mensa lacrosse IQ. Between high school and club, he plays about 85 matches a year. During the college season he watches 8-10 hours of college lacrosse on weekends, not just for pleasure but to study the game and learn new skills.

“It’s part of the process of who’ve I’ve become,” Ben said. “It’s not just a sport anymore. It’s something that releases stress. It’s a great way to live, honestly.”

As much as the boys love lacrosse, the Beacham family motto is academics first. All three brothers earned GPAs above 4.0.

Ben has committed to play at Penn, the sixth-ranked team in the nation, and plans to study at the Wharton School, one of the world’s most renowned business schools.

LCC, picked second in a coaches’ preseason poll, is 3-0, highlighted by a thrilling 15-14 win over Cathedral Catholic on Saturday night. A lacrosse match lasts 48 minutes or 2,880 seconds. LCC, which once trialed 5-1, led for all of 21 seconds, most importantly the final seven.

With the score tied at 14, the Mavericks forced a turnover with less than 45 seconds to play. Handling the ball 15 yards from the net, Beacham, who’s right-handed, let loose with a left-handed shot. With seven seconds on the clock, the ball settled in the top-right corner of the goal.

“I knew it was over from there,” Cooper said. “Beacham’s money in the bank. We wouldn’t rather have the ball on anybody’s stick.”

Beacham leads the Mavs with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists.

Norcross is a freelance writer.