Two-way standout Bey leads Versailles in state semifinals

Versailles senior Carson Bey (6) is a dual threat quarterback and outside linebacker who has helped lead the Tigers to the state semifinals for the first time since 2004. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED
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Versailles senior Carson Bey (6) is a dual threat quarterback and outside linebacker who has helped lead the Tigers to the state semifinals for the first time since 2004. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Tigers one of three MAC teams still alive in state-title chase

In the smaller divisions of high school football where rosters are not as big, it’s common for the best athletes to start on offense and defense. No one excels more as a two-way player than Versailles senior Carson Bey.

Bey, who is 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, plays quarterback and outside linebacker for the Division V, Region 20 champions. He throws the football with efficiency and runs it well as he did for over 100 yards in last Saturday’s regional final victory over Preble Shawnee.

On defense, Bey had three interceptions this season and was chosen first team all-Midwest Athletic Conference. Plus, to his surprise, he was named the Division V defensive player of the year in the Southwest District.

“I kind of live for that excitement and adrenaline rush,” Bey said of playing both ways. “And knowing that they have that trust in me is enough to know that I’m capable of doing what I need to do.”

Player of the year awards and regional championships are the norm for the best players and teams in the MAC. Three MAC teams play in state semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday. Those teams will try to add to the conference’s list of 37 state champions that started with Division V Minster in 1989.

Versailles (13-1) faces Canal Winchester Harvest Prep (10-2) at London High School. In Division VI, Coldwater (12-2) faces West Jefferson (13-1) at Piqua High School. In Division VII, Marion Local (14-0) meets Bascom Hopewell-Loudoun (13-1) at Lima Senior High School. The state finals for all three divisions are next Saturday in Canton.

Versailles is playing in the state semifinals for the first time since 2004 in pursuit of a seventh state title and first one since 2003.

“The job’s not finished,” Bey said. “I think we all know the mission, and we’re not going to stop until we get there.”

Bey’s personal mission is threefold: leadership, offense and defense.

“He knows what to say, when to say it,” Versailles coach Ryan Jones said. “He’s a vocal leader, and he’s a leader by example. And he’s super responsible. You can count on him. You can trust him. Everybody trusts him. And nobody outworks him. He’s a well-rounded leader.”

Bey says his role on offense is to keep the team relaxed and trusting in each other.

“No. 1 he’s a great passer,” Jones said. “He can hit the deep throws and the short throws. He sees the defense well, so he knows when not to throw it and where to go with it. And he’s a runner, so you can’t key on our tailback. That really expands our offense and stresses the defense when you’ve got two guys in the backfield that can run.”

Bey says he has improved on defense this year. If he plays college football, he said it will be on defense at the Division II or III level. He’s also hearing from colleges about wrestling.

“What makes him a good linebacker is he’s very physical, he understands technique,” Jones said. “A lot of times he has to set the edge and he attacks it, and he understands the concept of the defense and what his role is.”

For at least one more game, maybe two, Bey will be a quarterback and linebacker.

“You know what they say,” Bey said. “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

He’s done a lot of winning. Now, he and his other two-way teammates are trying to win it all.

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