The Port Washington running game this season will center around talented and highly-regarded offensive lineman Tyler Beach.

That's because Beach, a senior, stands at an imposing 6 feet, 6 inches and 280 pounds and boasts power, strength and good quickness for his size.

"He is a big, athletic kid, he has quick feet and he moves well," Port Washington head coach John Bunyan said. "He finishes his blocks and is aggressive at the point of attack. Obviously, we plan to run behind Tyler this season. He creates openings and big holes for our backs."

Good first step

Beach said his first step is a key to his success on the line.

"I get off the ball and get upfield quickly," Beach said. "I can get good leverage on the defensive linemen. I also have quick footwork."

Beach is in his third year on the varsity squad and earned first-team all-North Shore Conference honors both as a sophomore and junior. He was also honorable-mention all-state last season.

He has made a verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin, which offered a full scholarship, and plans to sign with the Badgers next February.

He chose Wisconsin over a group of big-name football schools, including Michigan, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Oregon State, Illinois and Iowa State.

"I was recruited by most of the Big 10 schools, plus some from the Southeast Conference," he said. "My first offer came from Northern Illinois last fall, and most of the rest came after last season. I feel blessed and honored to receive these offers and to have many options of places to go."

Bunyan said, "He really got on the radar after his junior season. He went down to some camps and did a tremendous job, then the offers came."

Line coach a plus

Beach said Wisconsin offensive line coach Joe Rudolph was a key factor in his decision.

"I liked his teaching style and coaching style," he said. "Also, UW obviously has a huge offensive line tradition."

Beach plans to major in physics, aerospace engineering or business management.

First, though, he will concentrate on his senior season at Port, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at New Berlin West.

"It is sad in a way, since this is my last season," he said. 'I am excited to see where this team goes. I think we can be a dark horse in the North Shore."