Cooper Beshel, now approaching his second birthday, probably wouldn’t appreciate the stories his dad would tell him. Cooper wouldn’t find it funny that basketball fans all over Lake County used to hate his dad, Tim.
Tim Beshel is busy these days opening up a chiropractic business in North Carolina. But he still looks back at his high school sports days with great fondness.
There was that sectional basketball game his junior year at the storied Waukegan gym. It was the winter of 1996. The basketball team was facing a very good Deerfield squad with a special player named Ryan Hogan.
“I was an intense player,” Beshel said. “Opposing crowds hated me. I was the villain.”
Beshel recalled the crowd throwing gum at him.
“I liked those situations,” Beshel said. “I loved it. We had a blast.”
Libertyville didn’t win that game, but Beshel did his best with 31 points.
“I was scrappy,” he said. “There was nothing pretty about my game.”
Great Sense for Ball
Beshel walked into the halls of Libertyville about the same time head football coach began his coaching career. Kuceyeski had no problem recalling the linebacker named Beshel. It seems opposing football crowds didn’t like him, either.
“Tim Beshel was one of the best all-around linebackers that I had ever coached,” Kuceyeski said. “He had a great sense for the ball and had the ‘nasty’ attitude when he played.”
Beshel walked in the doors of Libertyville High School in 1993. And he made an early impression.
“I went out for basketball and moved up to the varsity during the Christmas Tournament,” Beshel said.
He even had some floor time when the basketball team reached the Elite Eight in March 1994. Leading that squad was the late Matt Heldman.
“It was that whole freshman experience,” Beshel said. “Those seniors took us under their wings. I loved watching Matt Heldman and admired his work ethic.”
Football eventually would take Beshel to college. He settled in at linebacker and made opposing running backs pay.
“That was the great thing about football,” he said. “You get rewarded for hitting people. That was the fun part of the game.”
Kuceyeski recalled Beshel’s senior year, where his team fell short of its goals.
“He played on one of the best teams ever that did not make the playoffs,” he said.
First Team to the Playoffs
Beshel’s football skills took him to Illinois State University on a scholarship.
“I was on the first team in school history to go to the playoffs,” he said.
And there was the game in November 2000, when ISU snapped an eight-game losing streak to Western Illinois. In the 25-18 win, Gateway Conference defensive player of the week, Tim Beshel, scooped up a fumble and raced 49 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
By this time, stubborn injuries began to slow him down. And just maybe it inspired him to make a career of helping injured people. He followed his brother John into this business. He seems content with his life in North Carolina.
“I love where I’m living,” he said. “I have a great wife and baby. And we are building up my new practice.”