RICHFIELD — Being the tallest girl in the junior high can have its drawbacks.
But Megan Bean decided being 6-foot-1 was the kind of blessing one shouldn't waste. The easy-going, fun-loving baby of the Bean family used her height to lead her Richfield High teams to the kind of success that only a handful of schools enjoy. She earned MVP honors in two sports as she helped the Wildcats to titles in both volleyball and basketball.
Now a senior, she helped the volleyball team repeat as 2A volleyball state champions and is already working to make Richfield one of the state's best basketball squads in any class this winter.
"Ever since she was in junior high, she was taller than everyone else," said her father, Greg Bean, with a laugh. "She was just given some wonderful gifts, there is no question about it. Being as tall as she is and being able to jump and run and do all of the things she does is pretty impressive."
But maximizing natural gifts takes hard work, something Bean doesn't shy away from — even at dawn on a summer morning.
"She learned to use those talents and ability to play," said her dad. "She's a hard worker. This year, her coach put them through an insanity (workout) because he didn't think they had enough stamina. So she'd do her volleyball workout and then 45 minutes of insanity. She never complained about that at all. I thought that was fairly remarkable."
The hard work paid off on the court as Bean led the team with 265 kills, 166 digs and 42 aces as the Wildcats repeated as 2A state champions. The central Utah community has been home to some of the state's most talented female athletes.
"We've had, really in the last several years, a lot of really talented female athletes," said Richfield head volleyball coach Brett Beagley. "When you say how does she compare, well, she is the whole package — offensive skills, defensive toughness and coachability. She has all of those attributes."
Bean was a captain as a junior, but this year, the senior-laden squad didn't choose captains. Instead, when someone needed to step up and do something, they did.
"They all took on that role a little bit," said Beagley.
Bean's play at the net was key for the Wildcats.
"Her defense, both blocking and digging, were huge," said Beagley. "And to have a 6-foot-1 player who can play middle and back row defense and chase it all the way to the corner is rare. Her defense was key for us, but so was her offense. She was so tall, long and able to jump and just hit the ball over most of the blocks. She has a unique athletic ability and size and length. She might be the most complete player I've had go through the program."
The honor student committed to play for Weber State University next year, and she said she chose WSU because of its radiology program.
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