Golden Bears commit on mission to prove doubters wrong

The Golden Bears bring in an Alberta commit to their Class of 2017.

Samuel Beza, a defensive back from St. Mary’s High School, may have only been playing football for a year and a half, but the future University of Alberta Golden Bear has been proving the doubters wrong for years.

“For my whole life, I have been told single mothers can’t raise children, that I wouldn’t make it to university,” Beza said. “Now, with an 87% average of my top five course, I proved them wrong.”

And he even got flack when he tried out for his high school team, the St. Mary’s Saints (Calgary High School Athletic Association). “(I was told) that I wouldn’t start for the team and that came from my own classmates and teammates, proved them wrong too,” the 2016 coaches’ choice recipient said.

Courtesy of Samuel Beza.

Football was not Beza’s first love. No, that belongs to hockey. Prior to grade ten, he had to quit the sport due to unexpected life events and hockey’s costly upkeep. If it wasn’t for the Saints’ head coach, Bill McConkey, he may have never tried football.

“He asked me why I didn’t play football. I explained to him my situation and he told me, ‘No kid should be held from playing a sport because of money.’ So, I have a great appreciation for what my coach has done for me in the past two years,” Beza said.

With beckoning support behind him, Beza began to excel at football. He gives two reasons as to why: “It’s similarities to hockey (still my favourite sport) and the doubters around my mother and I.”

Sometimes the nagging voices in our heads can be our greatest motivators. Beza earned a starting position by embodying the lessons from his mother, harnessing the way of Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, and the philosophy of the Golden Bears he had picked up. Oh, and by outworking everyone.

“Outworked my classmates in class, my teammates on the field and in the gym and the opponents I would face during the season,” Beza said. “Now I have done all that, but I cannot stop here. I have to continue to push myself to prove those that still doubt me and my mother wrong.”

Courtesy of Samuel Beza (#22).

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but raised in Calgary, Alberta, the 6’1, 175lbs cornerback didn’t want to leave his single mother completely alone. He said that the University of Alberta is close to his mom, so he won’t be far from his home and close friends.

On top of its location, the university also offers wonderful cross between football and academics. “The philosophy I picked up on my visit to U of A matches mine, which further motivated me in my decision to continue playing football, better yet for a program that I embody,” Beza said.

“On my visit, I got a home-like welcome by the coaching staff and players. The coaching staff truly believed I have something to offer and the players were outgoing and not superficial,” he added.

The future chemistry student was also drawn to Alberta because it “is a top-tier academic school.” He added that he values his education and their standards are high as well. The school offers what he calls a strong education support plan. “It will help me for when football is over (and) as I future my education,” he added.

The 2015 defensive choice winner and 2016 city champion has a few people he would like to thank for helping him on his journey. He extends “special thanks to my mom for molding me into the man I am today, Coach Scarpino for being there when I needed you, Gernard Fernandez and Samuel Ali for being my best friends and having my back all the way.”

Beza also thanks, “Amos Dunstan for encouraging me to pursue football, for all those that doubted and still doubt my mother and I and for the U of A coaching staff for giving me this opportunity.”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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