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Banks leaves BC in the record books

Tavion Banks has never been shy about putting in work. Whether it was in the classroom, the practice field, or film sessions, Banks has always been proud of his work ethic.

It’s helped build him into a Division I football player and a novice landscaper.

“My dad has a landscaping business and I work with him a couple days a week,” said Banks, who will be headed to the University of Maine at the end of this month to start his next football chapter. “We usually work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They’re long days, but I don’t mind it. It keeps me on my feet and keeps me in shape.”

While the landscaping side of Banks might be news to many, the football side was a weekly problem for opposing head coaches every week over the past four seasons, as the four-year varsity letter winner was undoubtedly one of the best players in the East Penn Conference his junior and senior seasons.

He leaves Becahi as the school’s all-time leader with 68 career touchdowns and is third on the school’s rushing list with 3,891 career yards.

He was two-time Pennsylvania 4A all-state selection, as a running back his junior year and defensive back his senior year, as well as garnering first team EPC selections both years at defensive back and second team honors at running back.

Banks, who also was apart of Becahi’s wrestling and track programs the past four years, was one of the top athletes in District 11. His accolades on the field make him an easy decision to represent as Bethlehem Catholic’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Being the best football player was something that Banks had coveted after coming into the program his freshman year from Easton. He started as a free safety his first season and then continued to be a mainstay on both sides of the ball throughout his four-year career.

“I always had a chip on my shoulder coming into Beca,” Banks said. “I always felt like I needed to prove to people what I was capable of after coming into the program. I knew that if I stayed at Easton I could have started at running back right away, but I felt that Beca was just going to make me a better player and person. I came in right away, just looking to compete at the highest level with the rest of the guys.”

Banks walks away with three district championships during his football tenure, coming just shy of a sweep this past season when the Hawks lost to Pottsville 18-13 in the District 11 4A semifinals.

“That was definitely a bitter feeling,” he said. “I think we all knew we could have had that one.”

He also leaves with plenty fond memories, including his record-breaking, 99-yard TD run against Blue Mountain in last year’s district quarterfinals to become the schools all-time TD leader.

His favorite game, however, was during the 2017 state playoffs when the Hawks held off Selinsgrove for a 33-32 victory. Banks ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. He dealt with an ankle injury for six weeks prior to the game and was methodically used in the contest, but that game always stands out as a special afternoon.

“I had a high ankle sprain and missed a lot of games that year,” Banks said, “but I knew my team needed me in that one. I know I made a difference and if it wasn’t for some of the plays I made, I’m not sure we would have won that game. That game always will mean a lot to me.”

As Banks looks back at his time at Beca, he relishes the moments of playing on Friday nights, being apart of a nationally recognized wrestling program and being a member of the track team.

While his senior year may have got cut short with the coronavirus pandemic ending his normal high school life in March, Bethlehem Catholic will always be a place where Banks grew as a player and person, just like he expected when he arrived.

“I’m a humble guy at the end of the day and I was always proud to have a 3.0 GPA in school,” said Banks. “The academics were definitely harder at Beca than at Easton and I hope I made my family proud by always having good grades. I always had hoped to be a star football player in high school and eventually get a scholarship to play football and Beca has given me that. I’ll always be grateful for that.”

Copyright 2020