Jeff Becker has left a mark on Rockland County athletics that may not soon be equaled. Rockland has had numerous team state champions and state players of the year, but no athlete had accomplished this feat in two sports until Jeff Becker became the first. As a two-sport athlete, Jeff led North Rockland High School to state championships in football and baseball, and along the way managed to pick up a host of individual honors.
On the football field during Jeff’s tenure as quarterback, the team compiled a 33-1 record, which included undefeated Section 1 championship teams in 1992, 1993 and 1994, a New York State Class A championship in 1993 – the first year for New York State football playoffs – and a New York State finalist team in 1994. In 1993, Jeff led a North Rockland offense that outscored its opponents by 312 to 88, averaging 26 points a game. In 1993 and 1994, North Rockland was nationally ranked by USA Today. Individually, Jeff was selected as a two- time All-County, two- time All-Section 1, and two-time All- State quarterback, and in 1994, Jeff was selected as the New York State Football co-Player of the Year for Class A. In 1994 Jeff was selected as The Journal News Athlete of the Season, the Junior Heisman award winner, and was rated the No. 1 football player in New York State by USA Today.
In the springtime Jeff turned his attention to the baseball diamond and it was there that he, and the North Rockland baseball team, outdid the considerable achievements of the football team. The baseball team won the Section 1 championship three years in a row just as the football team did, but they made it to the New York State championship game each of those three years (1993 through 1995) and won the state championship twice. In 1994 and 1995, North Rockland was also ranked nationally by USA Today. As a starting infielder on those teams, Jeff was selected as a two-time All-League, two-time All-County, two-time All-Section, and two-time All-State player. Jeff was the Section 1 baseball Player of the Year in 1995, and was voted as the New York State Baseball Player of the Year by the New York State Sports Writers Association.
Being a highly sought-after two-sport athlete made college decisions hard for Jeff, but he finally settled on a baseball scholarship to Duke University in North Carolina. Jeff became a four-year starter for the Duke Blue Devils and rewrote their record book. In his first year Jeff was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Freshman of the Year, and was voted All-ACC third baseman three years in a row after that. Jeff was not only a great defensive player but in 1996 and 2000 he led the Duke team in batting average and runs scored. In 1997 Jeff led the team in RBI with 62, and, just to show his power, in 2000, Jeff led the team in triples, and in 1997 was the team leader in home runs with 12. Although Jeff graduated from Duke in 2000, he still holds many school career records. He ranks first in career records for Duke University in: games played, 240; at bats, 947; hits, 334; runs scored, 232; doubles, 74; and RBI, 198. His .353 batting average is the third highest in school history, and he ranks fourth in home runs with 35 and fourth in walks with 111. As for Duke single season records, Jeff ranks in the top 10 for doubles, 22; hits, 86; at bats, 235; RBI, 62; home runs, 12; and batting average, .368.
After graduating from Duke, Jeff was signed by the Cleveland Indians baseball organization and played infield in their minor league organization during 2001 and 2002. During that time, Jeff batted .236 with 127 hits in 160 games with 9 home runs, 60 RBI, and 92 runs scored. He had an excellent fielding percentage of .932 while playing third base. After two years in the minor league organization and a series of nagging injuries, Jeff decided to give up baseball, move home and go to work.
Jeff landed a position with Prudential Financial and, in his first year of employment, he was honored as the Prudential Financial National Rookie of the Year. Jeff has since left Prudential and started his own company, Sportz Ventures. Sportz Ventures is a media company that works with high school athletes and coaches to bring their programs into the 21st century. They create content and programming that supports the success of the athlete during their high school career. Sportz Ventures also provides the athletes and coaches with an honest edge by linking an aspiring athlete to coaching and training tools and resources. They have created an expert panel specifically designed to prepare an athlete for the various stages in their athletic careers. Jeff lives in Thiells with his wife, Amy, and their three children: Eric, 5, and 4-year-old twins Lily and Nicholas.