School pride, some graduates say, is lost once a student leaves the hallowed halls of high school and enters college or the real world.
If that is a true statement, someone forgot to ask Massey Beard.
The 2018 graduate of El Reno High School begins her second year at Southern Nazarene University and her first term in the nursing program after a year of medical-related basic courses.
I was standing in line to check in at Healthcare One a few days ago to get my nephew’s shot record up to date. In walks Beard dressed shoulder to toe in nursing scrubs and looking like most college students, even in the summer, tired from a round of classes or studying.
When she checked in she stated that she was there to get a physical.
I thought it was odd that a player on scholarship to a major college in Oklahoma was getting a physical at a local clinic. Even worse, she was paying for it out of her own pocket.
After inquiring as to why she was paying for the physical and not SNU, Beard said the heavy rains in June flooded part of the campus and they were not doing physicals anymore.
We spent a few more minutes catching up before we both slipped into silence and watched a high school student and his grandmother walk up to the counter. The boy was needing a physical to play football.
After going through the check-in process, the lady behind the counter informed the grandmother that the boy’s insurance did not pay for physicals and that it would be $35.
The grandmother looked at the boy and said this will have to wait until she got paid in a few days. In this instance, both Beard and I had the same reaction to help pay.
However, as I reached for my wallet and realized I had left it in the car, Beard sprung up and pulled out a pair of twenty dollar bills and said, let me pay for it.
Beard told the grandmother and the boy she used to play at El Reno and she wanted to help out.
Naturally it took a few minutes of convincing the grandmother to let her pay, but at the end the boy got his physical and Beard showed that she is just as classy off the court as she was on the court.
Now, I admit I felt guilty at this point that I was not quicker to respond. I offered Beard to repay her the money but she would not even let me finish the offer.
I wasn’t about to let it go and by then we were all in separate parts of the clinic. So I messaged her and made the offer again. This is the message she sent back
“I just want him to get his physical and be able to play football,” said Beard.
She further reminded me that she was on scholarship and that it was all “good.”
Scholarship, or not, Beard laid out $70 to get not only her physical but to pay for someone else’s that she had never met before walking into the clinic that day. Seventy dollars is a lot of cash for a player who only gets money from SNU for books.
That is school pride. That is a caring person. That is Beard according to her head coach Trent May.
“That’s Massey and this is a testament to her character. It’s so refreshing to hear this. She may have a bad day but you never see it. The maturity and caring personality she has brought to our team is amazing.
“You would be proud if she was your daughter and we are so blessed to have her on our team,” said May.
Oh, by the way, Beard, I’m going to find a way to get you that $35 back that will not break any NCAA rules.