Athletes of the Week: Brandon Barros ’17 and Post-Graduate Will Sirmon ’17

Brandon Barros ’17

A swinger his Lower year, Brandon Barros ’17 has played on Andover Football for three consecutive seasons. Barros has played an integral role on the team this year, starting as outside linebacker on defense, slot receiver on offense, and long snapper on special teams.

Co-Captain Keegan Cummings ’17 said, “Brandon has really stepped up and made an impact on offense when some key guys have gone down. He’s made some big plays on defense the past few weeks as well. Overall Brandon has contributed to the team greatly, and he is a great teammate to play with.”

Barros had a strong outing against Deerfield this past weekend, helping the team secure a 44-22 victory. In the game, he had an interception, a fumble recovery, five tackles, and a sack.

Barros’s strong offensive and defensive contributions have earned him the title of The Phillipian’s Athletes of the Week.

How has being in the football program helped you transition into Andover?

Being on the team has helped me a lot. Especially in my freshman year, when I was new to the school I didn’t really know many kids. I built a lot of bonds with kids during that year on JV Football, some of whom are my best friends today.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing pickup football with kids every day at recess in elementary school. I joined my first organized team in the fifth grade and have been playing ever since.

Why do you like football? Why do you keep playing?

I play football because it’s more than a sport; it’s like a brotherhood. Every week I’m playing for a lot more than myself, I’m playing for everyone around me.

How has playing three years under this program helped you develop your game?

The coaches have taught me a ton during my three years with varsity football. Also, I’ve learned a lot from the people who have played my positions in years past while I’ve been at the school. During my first years on the team, when I played scout team, I faced off against players like Nick Forti ’15, Jack Belluche ’16, and Matt Whalen ’16 and picked up a lot from them.

What do you work on to give yourself the edge in games?

Well, being one of the smaller guys out there, I really focus on reading the offense. I watch film in order to learn how teams are going to play so that I can know what’s going to happen before it actually happens.

What are your pregame rituals?

To pump myself up I always listen to music pregame. My playlist always changes, but it always includes “Work REMIX” by A$AP Ferg.

What has been the highlight of your time at Andover – both as an athlete and in general?

As an athlete my greatest moment was [Lower] year when we beat Exeter during Andover/Exeter weekend. Even though I didn’t play because it was my first year with varsity, the feeling was unforgettable. As a student at [Andover], I’ve formed great friendships here that will last a lifetime.

Post-Graduate Will Sirmon ’17

After suffering a devastating shoulder injury in 2014, Post-Graduate (PG) William Sirmon ’17 has made a comeback in his football career at Andover. Hailing from Destrehan, La., Sirmon hopes that his fifth year of high school will provide another opportunity to showcase his ability as a wide receiver and strong safety.

Commenting on Simon’s athletic prowess, teammate Rahmel Dixon ’17 said, “He is calm under pressure. His athletic abilities are unmatched by others.”

Sirmon has been a key asset for Andover Football this season. His fantastic performance against Deerfield, which included a 73-yard touchdown run, was one of the many reasons he was nominated as one of The Phillipian’s Athletes of the Week.

When did you start playing football and why?

I started playing football when I was 13 in middle school. It was just something everyone did in Louisiana, but I soon developed a great love for the sport.

What’s your favorite football team?

My favorite collegiate football team is the University of Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, and my favorite N.F.L. team is the Saints.

What’s your most memorable moment on the field?

Honestly, my favorite memory was made yesterday, when we got our first win against Deerfield. Everyone played hard, and it felt awesome to come out on top.

What’s the best part of Andover Football?

The best part of football at Andover would be the team. I love every one of the guys and wouldn’t want to be playing with anyone else.

What keeps you going on the field?

I am motivated by my cousin Benjamin, who passed away a couple years ago at the age of three. He was diagnosed with a rare muscular disease and was never able to walk or talk. He was only given a few months to live, but he fought with all he had. His spirit motivates me everyday. He taught me to not take anything for granted and to make the most of every opportunity I had.

What are your personal goals?

My goals would be for the team to finish the season strong with two more wins, and I would also like to play college ball.

Do you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions?

I say a prayer before every game for myself and for the team.

What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal would have to be a koala because I love to sleep.