The On Campus Report provides Stark County football fans a chance to catch up with the stars they watched a few years back on Friday nights. WHBC’s Noah Hiles sits down and speaks with some of the former greats from local teams to find out how their playing experience is going at the next level. Week by week check in to see how some of the area’s best athletes are doing on the college gridiron.
ALLIANCE (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Former Northwest star Eli Beers has made a few wardrobe changes over the past few seasons. Following the end of his high school football career, Beers traded in his Indians jersey for an orange and black Ohio Northern uniform.
However, similar to how the leaves change colors in the fall, Beers has once again updated his athletic wardrobe. This time, the color of choice is purple, which he believes is his best look yet.
“It was the best decision I’ve made,” said Beers. “Just thinking through everything; the rewards versus what i’d be giving up.”
What Beers gave up was a starting spot that he earned as a true freshman. In his first season at the college level, Beers worked his way onto Ohio Northern’s first team defense. He played in every game last year for the Polar Bears, finishing with 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Despite his early individual success, Beers noted that his main goal was to play for a winning team. As those in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) know, there is one program located in Alliance who has an unmatched winning tradition.
After the end of his freshman year, Beers decided that tradition was something he wanted to be a part of.
“I actually played against Mount Union my freshman year,” said Beers. “I think in that game I knew Mount Union was the place to be. It’s the epicenter for Division III football.”
Beers continued saying, “The mindset in our locker room was that nobody could beat Mount. I wanted to play for the team that nobody could beat.”
While he might have been a part of the program’s future at his old school, Beers understood that he would be hitting the restart button once he first put on a purple helmet.
Mount Union’s deep depth chart features dozens of athletes that could potentially be key players for many other teams. However, the next level competition on a day to day basis is something Beers embraces.
“I just trusted that if I perform well enough and I know the game well enough, I would get my fair share of playing time,” said Beers. “We have countless seniors on the team, All-Americans, and All-OAC guys. You have to wait it out sometimes but I am just happy to be getting in there and getting some playing time last week. I’m just keeping my nose down and grinding.”
In his first game as a Purple Raider, Beers found a way to make an impact. The sophomore defensive end was in on one of the Mount Union defense’s three sacks. He also contributed a solo tackled in his teams 45-7 win over rival Baldwin Wallace.
Next up for Beers and the Raiders will be another rival, John Carroll. The Blue Streaks have been one of the few teams to challenge Mount Union in conference play recently.
Things should be no different this year. The second nationally ranked Purple Raiders will travel to Don Shula Stadium on Saturday to face off against No. 12 John Carroll in a game that will more than likely determine the OAC champion.
Although Beers has already faced the Blue Streaks in his college career he understands Saturday’s match up will be much different. This time, there is a lot more on the line, which is exactly what he signed up for.