John Henry Beckmann
John Henry Beckmann and his family moved to Tucson from St. Louis about one year ago. He grew up playing lacrosse and was an accomplished player in high school. To his disappointment, Tucsonans didn’t seem to share the same level of enthusiasm for lacrosse as his St. Louis contemporaries.
This physically fit young man (5% measured body fat), became resigned to running up and down Sabino Canyon as his primary source of exercise. Challenging and beautiful as it is, running the Canyon was not as fun and competitive as his beloved lacrosse.
Then handball came into his life. John Henry’s good friend and mentor, Jeremy Sharpe, invited him to a session at the Tucson Racquet Club. The attraction was almost instantaneous. They began to play 2-3 times per week, all the while developing friendships with some of the kids who have been playing for a number of years. Over a period of 2 months he competed in three different tournaments and also experienced the joy of playing one-wall and three-wall in outdoor environments.
Recently Coach Montijo invited John Henry to attend the Monday and Wednesday practice sessions at Randolph Park. The other kids have really taken a liking to him and affectionately nicknamed him “Cid” after some cartoon character.
At the recent Handball for Healthy Hearts 24 hour marathon, John Henry received a special award for being the number one participant. He began playing at 11 PM on opening night and then continued off and on for 5 hours until the following morning. When one of the participants was late for his start time, John Henry stepped up and played until the gentleman’s arrival.
Like most beginners, John Henry’s first efforts resulted in sore and swollen hands. Recently he was observed playing bare-handed. It’s safe to say the transition from lacrosse to handball is now complete.