Beyer Big Part of Plymouth's Playoff Run
Senior, who is headed to U-M, helps Wildcats to best finish in school history.
DETROIT — Plymouth's Brennen Beyer had made a name for himself before the state football playoffs began.
The senior already had a scholarship offer to play at the University of Michigan next fall, but the Wildcats' remarkable run in the Division 1 tournament may be the defining moment in Beyer's high school career.
After rolling past Saline in the pre-districts, the Wildcats went on a amazing streak to reach the Division 1 state finals for the first time in school history. Plymouth first upset Canton, ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season, then bested perennial powerhouses Detroit Catholic Central and Rockford.
"From not winning a playoff game to coming within one game of winning it all is quite an accomplishment," said Beyer, after his team lost to Lake Orion, 21-13, in the state final at Ford Field Saturday. "I love all my teammates, but there is no question this was a disappointing loss. I really felt we could have played better."
Beyer was a starting tight end and linebacker this season and will likely get a chance to play linebacker for the Wolverines. But some of his most memorable plays this season might have been on the offensive side, such as the game-winning touchdown catch in the closing seconds against Rockford in last week's state semifinals.
"That was probably the most memorable I guess – but there were a lot of (memorable plays)," Beyer said.
During the course of Plymouth's run to the state finals, Beyer and his teammates saw a variety of teams with various offensive and defensive strengths. Lake Orion's linemen were likely the quickest that the Wildcats faced all year, Beyer said. And the Dragons were paying close attention to Beyer's big-play abilities in the passing game.
"They had a man over the top on me pretty much all game and then another (defender) pressed me at the line," said Beyer, who finished with three catches for 46 yards in the state final. "We tried to take what the defense gave us."
Plymouth head coach Mike Sawchuk said after the game that he envisioned taking the Plymouth program to a place where it could compete for state championships. But that became especially possible this year with the help of a senior class of leaders who believed in themselves.
"These seniors did so much for us and as a group they really helped us to (grow) into a great team," Sawchuk said.
It is difficult for Beyer to get his mind on next season already now that his high school football career is over. He plans to speak with the Michigan coaching staff in the coming weeks to get a better understanding of how he can best prepare himself for the rigors of Big Ten football.
"I know I will be hitting the weight room, but I will want to get a (training) plan together," Beyer said. "I just want to be able to contribute as best as I can next season."
But for at least a few more days, Beyer's mind will be on what could have been for the Wildcats. As the interviews wound down in the depths of Ford Field along the same hallways where NFL players head out for battle, Beyer embraced teammates and fellow seniors, quarterback Shaun Austin and kicker Kyle Brindza.
The tears shed in that hallway were about what could have been. But long after the season Beyer will be able to remember what was – the best season in Plymouth football history.