MISSOULA, Mont. (BVM) — A 2019 graduate, Branson Becker had a fantastic high school career. Now, after two years, Becker is back at Valley Christian High School.
A multi-sport athlete, Becker was a four-time varsity letter winner and set multiple school records. Being successful at sports taught Becker a lot about being a competitor. And now he’s trying here to help the younger generation find their competitive spirit.
Becker found his competitive spirit by following his older brother’s footsteps. With his football success, Becker was also a multi-sport athlete also like his older brother. The pair played in lacrosse and basketball as well as football.
“I was inspired by seeing what he could do, and I decided that I wanted to be better than him,”
After graduating, he went to school in Denver to be a diesel technician. But COVID-19 had other plans. Becker ultimately ended leaving the program and he landed back to the school he merits for his success.
“The work I put in at Valley drove me from a dorky freshman to a solid player and leader when I was a senior,” Becker noted. “I also just really hated losing.”
Becker personifies the ideals needed to create a thriving, winning atmosphere. He is a unique combination of work ethic, passion and humbleness.
“When I left Valley, I felt like I was a big dog, the man, then I got to Carroll and I realized I was just another freshman,” Becker said. “Another thing I noticed was that you can’t force someone to get better; they have to want to get better.”
Becker was an assistant coach at Valley Christian before he left briefly to play for Carroll College in Helena, but since has returned not as an assistant coach but in a much more fitting role as a weight coach.
An essential aspect of a football team and program is finding the right balance to create a winning culture. Becker, a member of the inaugural team in 2015, helped curate the winning culture initially, despite the majority of the team having no varsity football experience. Since that inaugural season which ended in the playoffs, Becker has proven himself a leader on the field. Now, as a part of the Eagle’s coaching staff, Becker has established again what kind of mentality is needed to contribute to the growth and development of these young players.
“There was a player I was working with the other day who wanted to max on the bench press. I kept on reassuring him, ‘You can do it, you can do five more pounds, you can do one more rep.’ I just want them to have the same positive experience I had,” Becker said. “College and high school players are different though. At Carroll, there were some players who did not want to improve, who had felt that they had grown enough. You have to treat high school players differently. You have to adapt to each person.”
However, Becker also realizes that building success and strength for the football field is not all that the Valley Football program is about. Becker, along with the rest of the coaches, all realize that the body can only go as far as the mind will take it, building strong minds in order to create strong bodies.
The importance of creating a strong, faith-centered life is really what the coaching staff is trying to teach their young players. Becker, who was a student of this philosophy for four years, knows it well and has grown personally from it. Becker knows how it can affect those who choose to grow and learn from it.
“I think the world needs more strong, Christian leaders. I’ve noticed there is a lack of them in the world,” Becker said.
As important as winning football games and helping other young players develop into stars on the field, that importance is minimal in comparison to the work that these coaches want to do in the lives of their players and even the players on the opposing teams.