They shared multiple state soccer titles as Camas Papermakers.
Now back together in college, Brent Richards, Quinton Beasley and Drew White are helping the University of Washington men’s soccer team shoot for a Pacific-12 Conference Championship. Richards is a senior, Beasley is a junior and White is a freshman.
“I feel very fortunate to have all three,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “Each of them has their own unique talents on the field, but the one thing they all share is their potential to be true Divison-One players.”
Clark said Richards has arrived at that status. He has already been named a Pac-12 Player of the Week this season, and leads the Huskies with eight goals.
“Brent has a great combination of being one of the most mellow, down-to-earth-kids, who becomes a different person when he steps on the field,” Clark said. “He’s so aggressive and focused. He wants to score two or three goals a game for his team, or he’s not happy. You know that’s not always going to happen, but it’s great when you have a player whose expectations are far greater than the ones you set for him.”
Richards agrees that his personality changes on the field.
“I guess you could call it my ‘game face,'” he said. “I’m not a yeller, but on the field I can be pretty fierce.”
Richards and Beasley showed what they could do with a soccer ball last weekend. After their first loss of the season Wednesday, the Huskies answered with a 4-0 victory over Houston Baptist Friday. Richards delivered two goals in the game, and Beasley dished two assists. The highlight of the night came when Beasley crossed the ball and Richards headed it into the net.
“He loves those headers. I just try to work off him, and do the best that I can,” Beasley said. “We always congratulate each other after a good play, just like old times.”
Richards returned the favor Sunday, by serving up the assist to Beasley’s first goal of the season. No. 24 Washington beat No. 20 University of Alabama at Birmingham 2-1 to win the Husky Fever Classic tournament.
“I love having [Beasley] up top with me. He does things I can’t do. We both complement each other well,” Richards said. “Every time we have a play, or we score a goal, we say it’s the Camas connection.”
That line never seems to get old. Richards and Beasley won state soccer titles at CHS in 2006 and 2008. White was just a freshman when the Papermakers won it all in 2008, but he logged several minutes as a defender. Over the next three years, White molded into a defensive anchor and an offensive threat. He capped off his senior year by helping Camas win another state championship in 2011.
Once again a freshman, this time in college, White wants to make a name for himself. He trains and practices with his teammates twice a day, and travels with them on road trips.
“He is ready to be a part of this team on the field if called upon today. We are not going to throw him in for five minutes here and there, and waste a whole year of eligibility,” Clark said. “We have told him to use this year to grow. If he doesn’t make an appearance, he can red shirt and still have four great years ahead of him.”
White is willing to wait his turn. In the meantime, he will continue to work.
“There’s no such thing as a day off,” he said. “Every day I don’t practice, someone else is getting better. I can’t allow that to happen.”
White will also be cheering on his teammates. He’ll be pulling extra hard for Richards and Beasley.
“You definitely have more respect for the guys you play with every day,” White said. “On the field, we hit each other and we bleed. Off the field, we’re friends again. That type of bond is something not a lot of people get to have.”
Richards and Beasley came to Seattle with big dreams. Now is the time to make them come true.
“He probably wants to score at least 10 goals this season. I want to score a few more,” Richards said. “Our team goal is to win the Pac-12, which is something we have never done before.”
“It’s something that has been said around here before, but this year we feel like we can actually accomplish that goal,” Beasley said. “If we set our minds to it, we can become Pac-12 Champions. It would be great to be a part of something like that. It would change the whole dynamic of our program.”
Richards, Beasley and White are stitched together by that soccer ball. Nobody can take those high school championships away from them, and nothing is going to stop them from shooting for more.
“It’s a funny story,” Richards said. “I never would have expected the three of us from Camas ending up here together again.”
“We’ve accomplished a lot of great things together,” Beasley said. “Let’s just see how far we can take this.”
“It’s going to be weird five years down the road, when we’re all back in town playing pick-up games,” White said. “We should have some great stories to tell.”