By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
ELYSBURG -- As the time grows near for Jim Roth to say good-bye to one Becker, a valuable piece of the Southern Columbia puzzle for the last three years, he can take comfort in knowing that he still has one left.
Senior tight end/defensive end/punter Jake Becker is winding down his outstanding career as the Tigers work toward what they hope will be another trip to the Class A state final in Hershey. Younger brother Nick, a freshman quarterback/linebacker, is at the beginning of what Roth hopes will be an exciting journey.
The Beckers are the sons of Jim and Michelle Becker and their father, the Southern High principal, was a standout football player and wrestler in his own right at Southern.
Growing up, the Beckers were always playing football, but most of their friends who played in their backyard games were Jake's buddies, and Nick always played against older kids.
He usually played on the opposite team from Jake. "We were always on opposite teams because we always hated each other, and we always went at it," Jake said.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of brotherly love in the air in Southern's regular-season finale at Warrior Run. Nick, the back-up and heir apparent to senior quarterback Taylor Young, got the start that night because Young was out with a concussion.
In what Roth believes is a first in program history, Nick threw a touchdown pass to his brother.
"That was pretty cool," said Jake. "I was a little surprised when I caught the ball, and it will be pretty cool to look back some day and say that I caught a touchdown pass from my brother. Not many people can say that."
Nick said he wasn't even thinking about the possibility of throwing a pass to his brother because he was so focused on what he had to do in his first varsity start. When the play call came in from Roth is when he really took notice.