Everybody knows Brett Becker can catch the ball.
The West Liberty senior set the career reception record in just one season last year, catching 46 passes from quarterback Tyler Newsom and earning all-state honors.
Now everybody will find out if Becker can throw the ball.
With Newsom gone to graduation, Becker is returning to what he considers his natural position at quarterback for the Comets.
“I’m really excited to move back,” Becker said.
Newsom will be tough to replace, however. He completed 91 of 175 passes for 1,565 yards and 18 touchdowns and also rushed for 394 yards and four more touchdowns as the Comets finished 6-4 and advanced to the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
“I’m confident I can fill those shoes,” Becker said. “(But) I’m not going to put up the numbers that Tyler did. I’d say I’m more of an option-style quarterback. I don’t have quite the arm he does.”
West Liberty coach Ben Slife is excited to have Becker leading the team on the field.
“He’s been a quarterback for most of the time,” Slife said of Becker’s career before last season. “He’s one of the most football-intelligent players I have ever been around. We may let him audible as much as he wants this season.”
The Comets lost several other key seniors from a year ago, including first team all-state running back Nick Boehme. Offensive standouts Tyron Williams and Cole Roszell also have graduated, along with linemen Juan Martinez, Israel Montelongo and Bryan DeBock. But Becker is excited for the season to start.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that have come up through the program and played behind other guys,” he said. “I think we have a lot of talent, still. But one thing we do have is a little more chemistry. We’re playing as a bunch of brothers.”
Becker, like many of his teammates, is a four-sport athlete, and the year-round competition has brought the Comets together.
Becker also plays AAU basketball in the summer and stays busy away from sports, as well. He’s a member of his church’s youth group and is active in Future Farmers of America, all while maintaining a 3.6 grade-point average.
“I’d like to play football somewhere,” he said of his post-graduation plans. “I don’t know exactly where, but I’ve gotten some letters from colleges around the area.”
Becker’s first priority is West Liberty football.
“We’d definitely like to get back to the playoffs,” he said. “It’d be nice to host a home playoff game. And if things fall into place, we’d like to go to the Dome, It’s every team’s goal.”