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Trojans' Beam signs to play golf for IU-East

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Monday evening in the New Castle Middle School cafeteria, 2019 NCHS graduate Nolan Beam inked a lettr of intent to play men’s college golf for IU-East in Richmond beginning this fall. In the front row, left to right, are father Brian Beam, Nolan Beam, and mother Tammy Beam. In the back row, left to right are sister Brittany Beam, brother Garrett Beam, IU-East men’s golf Coach John Gordon, and NCHS boys golf Coach John Burdsall.
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New Castle 2019 graduate Nolan Beam sinks a putt on hole No. 3 during last month’s IHSAA boys sectional at Hawk’s Tail of Greenfield. Beam helped the Trojans win another sectional championship and has signed a letter of intent to play men’s college golf for IU-East in Richmond starting this fall.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

Getting a college education while being able to play your favorite sport is a great thing, and that is what has happened to 2019 New Castle High School graduate Nolan Beam.

Monday evening in the New Castle Middle School cafeteria, Beam signed a letter of intent in front of family and friends to play men’s college golf for IU-East in Richmond beginning this fall.

“I knew I wanted to get a college degree and play golf, too,” Beam said. “Originally, I had committed to Ball State, but then Coach (John) Goran from IU-East contacted me, told me he liked the way I played, we set up a meeting to talk, and I’m committed to IU East now.”

Beam won’t be a total stranger to the IU-East team, as former Trojan Kole Schofield is on the team and has done really well for the Red Wolves his first couple of years in the program.

“It’ll be great playing on the same team with Kole and other good guys, and Brady Wheeler probably will play there, too. We hope to do well there and have a major impact.”

Beam knows that he won’t automatically be assigned one of coveted five spots on the Red Wolves without any effort on his part.

“I plan to work really hard, do whatever is asked of me, and my goal is to get a top-five spot as a freshman and play at every meet,” Beam indicated. “There is both a fall and spring season. The team does a lot of traveling, but also hosts a couple of tournaments, so my friends and family can come and watch me play.”

The home course for IU-East is now the Liberty Country Club south of Richmond, and Beam talked a little about that golf course.

“It’s a tough course,” Beam remarked. “You have to play it smart because there are a lot of challenges there. But it’s a good course and could give us a slight advantage when we play other other teams there.”

Beam, a good student, knows he’s not going to IU-East just to play golf.

“I’m going to major in pre-med,” Beam noted. “Actually, due to all of the college credits I earned in high school, I should be able to get my bachelor’s degree in two years. I still plan to play four years of golf there. My career plans are to become either an anesthesiologist or a pediatrician.”

New Castle has won the IHSAA golf sectional three of the past four years, including back-to back in 2018 and 2019, and has advanced to the regional all four years. Beam has been a big part of the Trojans’ success.

NCHS boys golf Head Coach John Burdsall was present at the signing and was happy for his former player.

“Nolan wanted to play golf in college, IU-East is a good school with good academics and a good golf program, and I’m excited for him,” Burdsall stated. “He’s a good player and a great teammate, and just an overall good guy. He’s going to get an opportunity to be an anesthesiologist or something in the medical field, and I know he’ll be a success in whatever he chooses to do.”

Burdsall talked about Beam’s strengths as a golfer.

“His attitude,” Burdsall remarked. “When he hits a bad shot, he doesn’t get upset about it or let it bother him. He just moves on to the next shot. He has the ability to pump up his teammates and just is a great guy to be around. He also has good golf skills, and when he’s driving the ball well, he’s tough to beat. I plan to go over and watch him play some.”

Beam also played varsity basketball at NCHS and was on the squad that advanced to the 2018 Class 3A northern semi-state championship game at Lafayette Jeff where it was eliminated from the tournament by eventual state champion Culver Academies.

IU-East men’s golf Head Coach John Gordon was at Monday’s signing, which is a good sign, and expressed his pleasure of having Beam come and play for his program.

“We’re really happy that Nolan has decided to come and join us,” Gordon remarked. “He’s one of those guys that when you tell him to do something, he already has it done. Nolan really loves to play golf and wants to get better and better, which is something you always like to see. I followed him some this season and saw him play at the regional. He has a lot of potential and is going to be a nice addition to our team.”

Gordon has gotten to see Beam play even more this summer.

“Our team plays together on Mondays and Nolan has joined us for these sessions,” Gordon added. “Of course, he already knows Kole, but has gotten along really well with the other members of the team. We have a bunch of smart guys on the team and Nolan will be one of those, too. We had a team GPA last year of 3.4, which was best among all IU-East men’s teams and only two women’s teams did better. We’re really pleased that Nolan has decided to be a Red Wolf.”