Lakeshore News Tonight

Andrean 59ers Prepare For Braves State Match Up

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November 26, 2013

MERRILLVILLE – Huddles bring them close, but what this group of high school football players do outside the huddle helps them win games.
Andrean High School slot receiver Donovan Chandler recalls the wins that made his senior year on the football field memorable.
He said those games were, “Either beating Merrillville or winning semi-state.”
The 59ers are going to the state finals this Friday. The team’s undefeated season takes them to Indianapolis to play the Brebeuf Jesuit Braves in Lucas Oil Stadium. Senior wide receiver Ramon Gurrero credits the team’s success to the extensive work done off the field.

“Over the summer we worked hard. We worked as hard as any other team we played against and by far we have some dominant players on both sides of the ball,” Gurrero said.

Hard work does pay off, but junior running back Trevor Berg said the camaraderie among the group helps.

Berg said, “Coming together as a team is what makes us score a lot of points. We’re kind of like brothers so when we get a break we always say family. We all know each other very well. We all hang out together a lot and we’re all really close.”

The shepherd of the flock for the last six years has been Phil Mason. He was across town at Wheeler High School coaching football when the 59ers last made it to the state finals in 2004. Mason is still able to draw some comparisons between the two teams even though they worked the field nearly a decade ago.

He recalls, “Leadership is one of the greatest things that you’ll see among those teams. What we like to call as coaches, a little football savvy. Kids that are able to do special things and make certain things happen. When things aren’t going well [the players] make tremendous plays out of opportunities that might not be there.”

With 14 victories, the team plans to treat Brebeuf no different.
“Pretty much like usual teams that we play we stop the run because that’s one of our strengths. And if they start passing then we’re going to stop that too. So, pretty much stopping the running back and doing the best we can with everyone else,” Gurrero said.
Just the thought of a win leaves Chandler speechless.
“I don’t know I’ll probably call my friends and say hey I just won state.”

Coach Mason said he teaches one other lesson. Respect.

By: Renetta DuBose


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