Thursday, September 24, 2020

Sports Person of the Week

Andrews Makes Huge Contributions on Both Sides of the Ball

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Colbe Andrews is a senior captain on the Valley Regional-Old Lyme football team and will play a variety of positions for the Warriors this year. Photo courtesy of Colbe Andrews

Colbe Andrews is a senior captain on the Valley Regional-Old Lyme football team and will play a variety of positions for the Warriors this year. (Photo courtesy of Colbe Andrews )

Colbe Andrews has made a big impact for the Valley Regional-Old Lyme (VR-OL) football team during the course of his career. This fall, Colbe will be serving as one of the Warriors’ senior captains while playing wide receiver on offense, along with middle linebacker and safety on defense. The Warriors finished with a record of 5-5 as they battled through injuries last season, but Colbe and his teammates are ready to do everything in their power to take the team back to the playoffs in 2020.

Colbe earned All-Pequot Conference Sassacus Division First Team honors for his excellent performance on the defensive end of the field last year. Colbe hauled in seven interceptions to go with a total of 12 touchdowns on the campaign. Even with all of his individual recognition, Colbe feels that the hard work he puts in day after day is more important than any awards he puts on his mantle.

“I think my biggest achievement as a player is developing my drive to wake up and work on myself every day,” says Colbe. “It’s not an individual achievement, but conquering that need to constantly get better has been a pretty big accomplishment.”

Colbe’s dedication to continuous improvement has made him a shining example for his teammates. That’s a big reason why he was chosen as one of the team’s senior captains. Colbe had been working toward earning that role for a long time.

“I was ecstatic when I found out I was going to be a captain. I’ve always wanted that, ever since I first started playing my sophomore year. It was cool to know that the team had faith in me to lead them,” Colbe says. “To me, being a captain means I have to be the best role model I can be for the younger kids. I have to teach them how to run routes and teach them how to work out. That’s what the captains taught me when I was younger—that and how to be an overall team player.”

Colbe prides himself on playing both sides of the ball. Colbe doesn’t consider himself an offense- or defense-first player. Instead, Colbe views himself as a key contributor regardless of which side of the line of scrimmage he’s on.

“To be 100-percent honest, I don’t see myself as just purely one position or the other, because I love both positions equally. I think playing both helps me a lot,” says Colbe, who lives in Old Lyme. “At receiver, I can determine the coverage, and I can envision the spaces where I would be open. I can picture where I have to be, so the quarterback can get the ball to me.”

In terms of playing defense, Colbe believes that his experience of running routes as a receiver gives him great insight when it comes to covering an opposing wideout.

“I’m more of a pass-first linebacker and a safety. I’m not getting too many blitz calls. The most important thing is my preparation before the game. Each offense in the league runs a different style,” Colbe says. “Our preparation with film and at practice is what helps the most. We’ll take a team’s plays and run them at practice in 7-on-7. After that, I can envision the plays, their first steps, and take advantage of that in the game.”

One of the best things about being proficient on both offense and defense is that Colbe gets to make impact plays every time he’s on the field.

“I think getting an interception feels just like scoring a touchdown. It’s a complete momentum changer when a team is pushing down the field and you get a interception. It stops them, and it gives your team the ball,” says Colbe. “There’s also nothing like scoring a touchdown in front of a packed Valley hill. That’s awesome, too.”

While a full house at Blythe Field is always a sight to behold, Colbe got his first taste of Warriors’ football at Old Lyme High School. Every year, VR-OL plays a home game in Old Lyme, and those games are extra special to Colbe.

“I definitely enjoy playing at Old Lyme. It’s a cool experience. I remember going to those games as a kid. I thought it was so awesome to see those games, and now I imagine myself as that little kid in the crowd when I’m playing on the field,” Colbe says. “I want to give them the same feeling I had watching the older kids play, but playing on The Hill feels like home, too. We train there, and it always feels like we belong there.”

Warriors’ Head Coach Tim King knew that Colbe had the potential to be a great player and a quality leader for his team. King watched Colbe grow up on the football field, and he can’t wait to see what the senior will achieve this fall.

“It’s always nice to have captains in both schools to check on their teammates. I’ve know Colbe since he was a little tyke. His mother was my wife’s maid of honor. I watched him play youth league, and I knew from a young age that someday he would be a captain of this team,” says King. “He’s one of the hardest workers I know and, through the pandemic, he had his own weight room built in the basement and worked out like a madman.”

Colbe feels grateful to everyone who has helped him succeed with the Warriors, people like Coach King and defensive coordinator Bobby Sanchez. Colbe also thanks his teammates on the offensive and defensive lines who make his job that much easier. With limited practices starting up for many teams this week, Colbe is eager to get back on the field and start playing games. Colbe just wants to see how all of his rigorous training will pay off on the gridiron.

“I’m looking forward to winning again, getting out there and having competition to go against and get the juices flowing,” Colbe says. “Putting in all of this work, I want to be able to put it to use at some point.”


Chris Negrini is the Assistant Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.negrini@shorepublishing.com.

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