For Chris Beck, his priorities include country and community

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By Nate Dugener
LocalSportsJournal.com

FRUITPORT–Fruitport alumnus and Hall of Famer Chris Beck has dedicated his time for our country serving in the military as well as serving our local communities by guiding young men and women through high school sports.

Chris graduated from Fruitport as a member of the class of 1977.

Beck was a member of the Marine Corps for 4 years from 1977 to 1981 as a ground support technician for Marine Aircraft Group 31. Beck regularly worked on equipment to support A4 fighter aircraft. Beck was then assigned to VMFA 451 to work on the runway. Beck ended his service with a final rank of Sergeant E-5.

After serving in the military, Beck attended ITT Technical Institute in Grand Rapids to earn an associate’s degree in electrical engineering. Next, Beck went to Siena Heights College in Adrian to take additional management courses. Chris returned to school in Santa Ana, California at California Coast University for a Bachelor of Science in Management. Finally, Chris updated his management skills by taking management courses at Cornerstone University.

Beck is an avid runner, competing in track and field in Fruitport as well as three marathons including the Chicago Marathon and two Marine Corps Marathons in Washington D.C. Beck was also inducted into the Fruitport Hall of Fame for his career as a wrestler, in particularly as a member of the 1974-75 wrestling team.

Beck has an affinity for coaching baseball and softball since his time in the military. In 1978, while stationed in South Carolina, Chris coached a youth team. Since then he has coached the following teams: Pennsylvania Women’s Softball, Zeeland Boys Soccer, Fruitport Youth Football Program, Fruitport Youth Baseball, Fruitport Freshman Baseball, Fruitport JV Baseball, Orchard View Freshman Baseball , Holland freshman baseball, Line Drive travel baseball, Channel Cats travel baseball, Riptide travel baseball and Muskegon City league team.

Not only has Chris coached a variety of school and travel teams in the area, but he has also served as Fruitport’s college football statistician, announced Fruitport’s basketball and track, and is the current announcer of the Fruitport Football AP.

Beck said his military experience prepared him for his coaching career through “discipline and working as a team and knowing that you need everyone to want to achieve the same goals”.

Although Beck did not teach in a classroom, he views the field or field as a classroom where teaching can take place.

“I think coaching is a teaching, it can strengthen the character of boys in the face of adversity, which is a trait that will stay with them forever,” Beck said. “Making the children’s experience enjoyable and winning isn’t everything. It is about developing character and teamwork skills that can be used outside of sports.

“The sport you play is a game – winning or losing – it’s a game,” he said. “Play as a team, you are only as good as your weakest link, help them improve. If you leave the playing surface knowing that you did your best, whether you win or lose, you still win.

Currently, Chris is the Quality and Maintenance Manager at Montague for MasterTag. Beck and his wife Lisa have two sons, Brandon and Drew, who also served in the military. Drew and Brandon graduated from Fruitport playing baseball and football. Drew also bowled and played baseball for 2 years at Muskegon Community College.

Brandon was a deputy in the army and served two tours in Iraq. Drew is a Major currently serving in the Marines in Japan and touring Iraq.

Chris also has a grandson named Gabriel who plays soccer and hockey.

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