KARNS CITY — Dalton Beham understands and appreciates Karns City football tradition.
This year, he became a big part of it.
The Gremlins' senior running back rushed for 1,343 yards and 26 touchdowns — including playoffs — this season. He scored 120 points during the regular season to capture the Butler Eagle Scoring Trophy.
Beham edged out Grove City's Trey Adams (118 points) to lead the Butler County area in scoring. Butler's Luke Michalek was third with 90 points.
He becomes the seventh Karns City player to win the trophy, joining Rick Belles (1993), Jeremy Scherer (1995), Billy Graham (2001), Matt Carnahan (2002), Josh Fiscus (2003-04) and Kaiden Powers last year.
“It's an honor,” Beham said of gaining the trophy. “It's a tribute to our offensive line as much as anything. Those guys helped me achieve what I did.”
So did off-season work in the weight room.
“Dalton's always had the speed and the quickness,” KC coach Ed Conto said. “After his junior season, he worked hard the entire off-season.
“From being an average back, he turned himself into a very good back.”
Beham has been playing football since age 7, when he joined the East Butler Bulldogs. He will not be playing college ball, pursuing a career as an electrician or some type of machinist work instead.
“I'm going right into the work force,” said Beham, who has been taking Vo-Tech classes. “But I loved playing football. Growing up, I couldn't wait to put on this uniform.
“I admired guys like Glenn Toy and Tristan Rhoades as I was coming up through the system. I wanted to be like them.”
Rhoades was a junior wide receiver at Allegheny this season who was second on the team with 41 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns.
“Both of those guys battled injuries here,” Conto recalled. “Glenn Toy lost his senior year to an injury or he might have run for 2,000 yards. He was that good.
“Dalton won that trophy this year despite his sprained ankle. That coat him two and a half games. The fact he was still able to win it — along with the fact we use so many kids in the running game — shows how productive he was.”
Beham sprained his ankle in the sixth week of the season.
He admitted the sprained ankle bothered him later in the year because “that kind of thing never goes away.” But he learned to deal with it.
“I just had to fight through it if I was gonna play,” he said.
Though Beham's last game was a 67-17 PIAA Class 3A playoff loss to Sharon, he rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown in that contest.
“We got beat pretty good, but Dalton still did his thing,” Conto said. “They didn't stop him.
“He could have made a good slot-back for a Division III college team, no doubt in my mind. He has very good hands. But he's preparing himself to make a good living and he'll do that.”
Conto was familiar with the Eagle Scoring Trophy before even coming to Karns City. A few of his A-C Valley players won the award when he was coaching the Falcons.
A-C Valley graduate Jason Hackwelder, the 1996 winner, was running backs coach for Karns City this year.
“Jason enjoyed playing a part in helping Dalton win it,” Conto said.
And Beham is grateful for having his name put on the trophy with so many Gremlin running backs before him.
“My goal this year was to have a 1,000-yard season,” he said. “Now to be part of this ... It means a lot.”