Success or failure on the football field pale in comparison to the loss of a loved one, and Mansfield Lake Ridge quarterback Jason Bean understands this all too well.
Passing for 2,956 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2016, Bean helped lead the Eagles to a third-round playoff appearance and earned all-district honors in the process.
He has also committed to the University of North Texas to play college football.
Yet none of these things are what motivate him the most to give everything he has, night in and night out.
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“I think about them before every game and pray to them before I walk out of the tunnel,” Bean said.
The Lake Ridge senior is referring to his aunt, Pam Bean, and his grandmother, Rosie Bean, both of which died in the month of December — his aunt in 2012 and his grandmother in 2015.
Bean said the loss of his aunt and grandmother affected him in a major way because he was so close with both of them.
“My grandmother and aunt passing away was the biggest thing that I’ve had to overcome,” Bean said. “I know they were my biggest fans.”
Entering last season, Bean had some big shoes to fill following in the footsteps of Jett Duffey, but coach Kirk Thor said in an interview prior to the start of the 2016 campaign, he knew the incoming junior had the tools necessary to lead the team.
“Jason is a young quarterback, but he has a strong, accurate arm and has good speed,” Thor said last year. “He is developing into a good leader and has a good grasp of our offensive system.”
Bean said that heading into last season was a bit daunting, and even with the success he enjoyed, he’s remained humble.
“It was a good learning year for us all since we had 40-something seniors graduate the year before,” Bean said. “So we had a lot of new faces, but we all worked together to come out of one of the toughest districts in the state and go three rounds deep. I performed well but not good enough to get my team where we wanted to be.”
Bean said that he has worked on mechanics and footwork over the summer, and said to repeat and hopefully improve upon the kind of success the team enjoyed in 2016, it will take a few things.
“We have to focus on what we can control and not worry about what happens outside of our team,” Bean said.
Jason Bean’s Favorites
Favorite athlete: Marcus Mariota
Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite food: Nachos and Steak
Favorite movie: The Fast and Furious series
Favorite TV network: ESPN
Favorite musical performer: Lil Wayne