'Committed' to more than just football: DeMatha's Beau English

DeMatha quarterback Beau English will carry on a family tradition when he plays football at the Air Force Academy next fall - he's one of 25 men on his father's side to serve in the military.

"Pretty much if you're a boy in the English family, you're gonna serve."

Donald English, father of DeMatha senior quarterback Beau, described a long list of men who share the same blood - and the same passion for serving America.

"I have eleven uncles who are all former military. My Dad's retired Air Force, my brother's a West Point grad who's now the president of the American University in Afghanistan...still fighting for freedom, furthering education over there. I've got three other brothers who were enlisted," English explained.


Though military involvement is a tradition and an unmistakable part of their family story, Donald and his wife weren't always sure their son Beau would follow step. A former linebacker himself, committed to play at Air Force, Donald's playing career was cut short due to injury. If football was his son's primary passion, that's what he wanted him to pursue.

"He was actually looking hard at some of the high academic Power Five schools and they were recruiting him the hardest but things just opened up and the academies really started showing interest."

With a solid GPA in tow and a definite sense of maturity, Beau had options. But he couldn't help but give consideration to the precendent set by those he loves and trusts.

"I wouldn't say there was pressure to serve in the military, but it's definitely something I've been around and that I'm accustomed to," the dual-threat QB said.

His father told the story of Beau's interaction with a reporter as he narrowed his list of potential college programs. The question - why Air Force ranked so highly.

"He asked me 'What should I say'? I said 'Well don't tell them that I want you to go...If you go, it'll be because you want to go on your own. He said, 'Well, I want to go where you went."

"It was one of these fatherhood moments I'll always remember"

Beau's final three came down to Army, Navy, and Air Force. Fittingly, he saved his big announcement for Independence Day.


"That was just an idea that me and my father came up with together. It's kinda cool...committed between the service academies of Fourth of July, it's kind of a nice gimmick."

Beau was also offered by high-level academic schools like Cornell and Duke. But at Air Force, he'll combine intensive academic standards with the rigors of Division I football....all while under a character and leadership microscope.

Preparing at DeMatha, an all-boys Catholic academy that constantly ranks nationally on the gridiron, has English in good shape for his next venture.

"To play at a service academy and to play the quarterback position, you have to be an outstanding leader and Beau is that - an outstanding leader for us, two-time WCAC champion. And he's extremely intelligent."

Those qualities were not only important to Air Force becoming an option to him, but vital.

What many may not realize is that the service academy recruitment process often begins in a teen's junior year of high school. Lots of base standards must be met and monitored, including medical exams, a multi-part fitness test, grades, and GPA.

Perhaps the most unique requirement is the nomination process. 

Yes - teens interested in an education at one of the service academies must receive a congressional nomination, which entails a formal interview and usually comes from either a state senator or representative (each U.S. Senator and Representative is allotted five constituents to attend the service academies at any given time.)


Beau's story so far though is that he made it through those stages successfully. He's led his Stags to three wins in three tries so far this year, and each week is forward motion towards the goals that lie ahead.

"My main goal ever since I started playing football, ever since I've been five was to play football at the next level and to do that and be able to serve my country...that's just like icing on the cake. I'm really excited to do both of those things at the Air Force Academy."



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