ARCOLA (WCIA) — Arcola’s Beau Edwards gave his family quite the surprise on his senior night for basketball.
“We were walking out on the floor and the announcer says, ‘Beau Edwards plans to attend mortuary school,'” Beau’s father Jeff said. “It was like, ‘Really?’ We were all smiles.”
It was good news to Beau’s parents Jeff and Lisa, who have owned and operated Edwards Funeral Home for the past 30 years.
“It means a lot, I’d love to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” Beau said. “I definitely have big shoes to fill cause he’s served a lot of people in our community here and I would love to do the same thing.”
“The fact that he is interested in carrying on something that my wife and I started to us is awesome,” Jeff said.
Jeff and Lisa bought an old house in 1992 and converted it into what it is today in downtown Arcola, serving more than 100 families every year as a full service funeral home.
Sports have also been a big part of the Edwards family. Beau’s older sisters Kara and Taylor both played softball in college. After a record-breaking high school career, Beau could have pursued playing at the next level as well but decided to chart his own path.
“It’s cool, definitely leaving my name here knowing the tradition at Arcola, knowing that I set three records this year in track and leaving steps to follow at Arcola,” Beau said.
Edwards holds four school records in track with top times in the mile, 3200, 800 and 400, winning multiple state medals. In football, he was named All-State twice and is tied for third all-time on the IHSA career interceptions list with 25, and his five picks in a game rank second in the state in that category.
Combine that with his success on the diamond as an all conference player and in basketball where he averaged 14 points and nine rebounds a game as senior, and Beau leaves quite the legacy with the Riders.
“He’s got to be one of the top athletes that have gone through here, not just one sport but so many sports,” Arcola Athletic Director Nick Lindsey said. “It’s something that we encourage but to excel at the level he did in all of his sports is pretty uncommon.”
Beau will move into the funeral home down the road but first he plans to enroll in an 18-month mortuary school to learn all about what it takes to be successful working in the industry, learning from dad along the way as the WCIA3 Athlete of the Year. Edwards is the winner of a $500 scholarship, selected as one of two Athlete of the Week award winners.