DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Mount St. Joseph University football and wrestling standout Cornell Beachem Jr. has been named the 2019-20 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference male athlete of the year, the school announced Tuesday.
The Winton Woods High School graduate is the first MSJ athlete, male or female, to earn the prestigious honor. The award is in its seventh year.
Beachem starred at wide receiver and running back for the Lions' football team last fall. He led the team with 648 yards rushing and 837 yards receiving and had 1,704 total yards.
"As outstanding of an athlete that Cornell is, he's an even better student and person," Mount St. Joseph University football coach Tyler Hopperton told WCPO. "He puts great priority on academics, and his strong character shines through in all he does."
Beachem was third in the HCAC with 110 points, tying for the top spot in the conference with 10 touchdown receptions and seven rushing touchdowns.
"While playing football and while wrestling he carries a very stoic demeanor as he trusts his work and his skills to get the job done," Hopperton said. "His focus is the best I've seen. The thing that sets Cornell apart is his approach to the game each and every day."
Beachem, who will be a junior this fall, also starred at 174 pounds on the wrestling mat where he earned a 21-0 record.
After he secured the championship at the prestigious Pete Willson Invitational, he claimed the No. 1 spot in the national rankings, according to MSJ.
He won the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championship, while defeating the returning national champion at 174 pounds in the championship match.
Beachem was named the No. 1 seed at the NCAA Division III national wrestling championships and had an opportunity to become the first athlete in the history of Mount St. Joseph University to earn the title of national champion in any sport, according to the school.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic his wrestling season was cut short just prior to the NCAA championships. He was named a first-team All-America selection by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).
"Cornell is a special athlete but a better young man," Mount St. Joseph wrestling coach Charles Mason said. "He understands what it takes to perform at his peak on and off the mat. We are blessed to have Cornell as a part of our MSJ family."