High Five: Beltran wraps up busy senior year
Published 4:50 pm Thursday, March 10, 2022
Fortino Beltran started at slot receiver and defensive back for the Panthers football team, was a guard in basketball and now patrols the baseball outfield. The Engelhard native talks about his busy senior year and how things have changed since his transfer from Pungo Christian Academy.
- You led PCA to the 8-man football state championship game as a junior. What’s the biggest difference between 8-man and 11-man football?
Fortino: There’s more than one. You have to make faster decisions when running the ball. You can’t just get to the outside and outrun the defense. The defenses are physically tougher, so I had to raise my game also. It was a big challenge and more fun to play against tougher competition.
- Was it the right call to come to Northside for your senior year?
Fortino It’s the best decision of my young life. I spent my first two years at Mattamuskeet HS, then went to Pungo because Mattamuskeet wasn’t going to have a football team. I had great support from my teachers and coaches at PCA, but this year has been really fun. Northside is full of great people. My teammates in all three sports have been great and we all push each other to get better. Nobody is skipping reps in the weight room and everyone is very positive.
- What has been your athletic highlight so far?
Fortino: Beating Southside twice in football. Even though I’m new to the rivalry, I learned fast that keeping the Anchor Bowl trophy here is a big deal. The whole school was excited after we won and it was also fun beating them in the playoffs.
- What class have you enjoyed most at Northside?
Fortino: Art with Ms. Woolard. I’m pretty good at drawing and she encourages us to use a free range of creativity. She says there is no best way to draw, just be as creative as you can.
- Name three people, living or not, that you would like to have a meal with?
Fortino: (Hall of Fame baseball player) Roberto Clemente because I’d like to know more about the adversity, he went through to make it to the majors, Trea Turner (L.A. Dodgers and former N.C. St. baseball player) because his game is similar to mine and (NLF quarterback) Tom Brady because I’d like to learn more about his great work ethic and competitiveness.
Bonus question: What are your plans after graduation?
- I’m going to start out at Beaufort County Community College to get my associates degree then transfer to East Carolina to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon. It’s going to take a few years of school, but I think I can handle it.