Once a Card, Always a Card

SHS alumnus showcases school pride after graduation


Darcy Leber

Steve Bean applauds the Marching Cards at the Columbus North v. SHS football game on Sept. 2. SHS lost 14-47.

SHS alumnus Steve Bean sits in a lawn chair on the east side of Shelby Street, waving to SHS graduates as they drive through the procession.
It is the 2020 SHS graduation, and Bean, not one to miss out on such a crucial event, takes advantage of the opportunity to cheer one last time for the seniors he had been cheering on for so long in their games, concerts, races and musicals.
Bean has gone to nearly every SHS graduation since 2008, only missing one. His real passion, though, lies in attending more than just graduations.
“It’s a really enjoyable, entertaining thing to do for not very much money,” Bean said.
Also known as a “super-fan,” Bean continues to hold his spot as the school’s number one event attendee.
Although Bean attends both sport and academic-related Southport events, his real love for what he does began with a basketball game.
Back in eighth grade, Bean was invited to a sectional boys basketball game against Beech Grove. He can still remember SHS’s loss, how they went into triple overtime and that two of the players ended up as Indiana All-Stars. It was a great game, a “heartbreaker,” Bean recalled.
Once he got into high school, Bean took the opportunity to become a student manager for the freshmen basketball and baseball teams.
“I love basketball, I love baseball, and so this was a way for me to be involved,” Bean said. “And I really enjoyed it, (I) enjoyed going to practice every day, (I) enjoyed going to the games.”
Being a manager was a way for Bean to express his love for the sport without directly participating in it. In middle school, Bean came to the realization he was not athletic enough to actually make any teams.
But, the passion he had for sports was too strong, and being a manager ended up suiting him. From his sophomore to senior year, he was managing JV and varsity teams.
“That was a tremendous experience for me,” Bean said. “That transformed my high school experience, being a manager on that team.”
Even so, Bean couldn’t be a student manager forever.
For a year or two after he graduated in 1978, he continued to go to a few SHS basketball games. Eventually he moved to other parts of the county and traveling to the school wasn’t practical anymore.
A move back to Beech Grove in 2003 changed Bean’s perspective. His proximity to the school allowed him to begin going to games again, and he attended a few games in the year after. By 2004, Bean had renewed his interest in the SHS basketball team with the hiring of Jason Delaney as the boys basketball coach.

Bean believed SHS was becoming serious about basketball again, and that’s when he began to be as well. Over the span of 18 years, Bean’s attendance at games went steadily uphill. Now, he attends not only sports events but SHS musicals, concerts and of course, graduations.
“A normal year is probably in the 60-70 range…85 is the most (events) I’ve ever had in one year,” Bean said.
But, Bean doesn’t show his support just through game attendance. He also runs a Twitter account, @shsfan475, where he tweets stats and updates about SHS graduates in their college sports. He also shares most tweets by the Southport athletics page.
Bean also travels all over Indiana, sometimes even farther, to watch both current and former SHS athletes play. He has gone as far as Portsmouth, OH for a basketball game and down to the University of Louisville for softball.
“Passion is definitely the right word,” Bean’s friend, Denis Loveless, said. “He goes everywhere, and his passion doesn’t end when a kid graduates from Southport.”
According to SHS Principal Brian Knight, Bean’s support has an undeniable impact on students, especially ones who have graduated.
Bean has followed many athletes throughout their entire four years of high school, and still devotes time to following most after. According to Bean, college athletes and their families appreciate when he shows up to their games.
“I think if you talk to graduates from here that are playing college sports, they all know Steve,” Knight said. “And they don’t necessarily know him because he was part of their coaching staff or those type of things, they know him because he cares a lot.”
Despite the fact that in recent years the number of events Bean has attended has gone up, he predicts that number will decline as he takes more time to care for his father.
To Bean, though, a decreasing number doesn’t equal a loss of passion. For many SHS games, concerts, musicals, races and graduations to come, Bean will be there.
“I wish we had a fanbase that had half the passion that Steve has for what we do,” Knight said.