CF grad Beale follows in Keane’s footsteps to CCU

Matt Beale always rooted for Tyler Keane.

As a middle school kid, Beale first watched Keane quarterback the Seahawks of Myrtle Beach High School. Then Beale went to Keane’s games at Coastal Carolina University.

Now he has a chance to follow in Keane’s path.

“I kind of want to use him as an example for me,” said Beale, a quarterback who graduated from Carolina Forest High School last year and participated in his first practice with Coastal’s team on Friday. “I thought about that a lot today, just like how I’m out here. I’m repping my county and the school that I grew up watching. It feels good to be a part of it.”

Keane initially played for Carolina Forest, but he transferred to MBHS and finished his high school career at Myrtle Beach. During his senior year with the Seahawks, Keane threw for over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.

When Keane arrived at Coastal, he did not see any action until his sophomore year. That’s when he served as the holder on field goals and PATs. But during his junior year, Keane started seven games at quarterback for Coastal, going 6-1 in that span.

Beale hopes for a similar football trajectory.

A three-year starter for the Panthers, he made Coastal’s squad as a preferred walk-on. However, he knows he has much to learn.

“It’s a lot to take in at first,” he said. “It’s the same thing as going from JV to varsity in high school. It just gets faster and faster as you move up.”

Carolina Forest football coach Marc Morris pointed out that Beale joins other former Panthers on Coastal’s roster, including running back Anthony McAfee and offensive lineman Antwine Loper. Those players serve as an inspiration for other local students.

“Any time, in any program, when kids get an opportunity to go play at the college level, it lets the other players understand, ‘If I work hard, do everything right, not only as an athlete but as a student-athlete, then there’s opportunities for me to play at the next level,” Morris said.

Beale remains optimistic about his future at Coastal. With six other quarterbacks on the roster, he knows he has much to prove. However, he’s willing to wait — just like Keane did.

“It was cool to see him out here,” he said. “No one probably gave him a chance in the beginning.”

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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