As a key wide receiver and defensive back on the field and uplifting presence on the sidelines, Co-Captain Andrew DeBenedictis ’23 has represented strong leadership for Andover Football in his examples.
Despite his quieter demeanor, DeBenedictis has placed his focus on setting a good example for the team through his actions.
“I’m not the most vocal person, so [I try to lead by] being a good guy [and] lead by example in practice. Whether that’s doing the right thing or being obedient when the coaches tell me to do something, [I just try to] be a good example—a good role model for the kid —especially the younger guys who are behind me,” said DeBenedictis.
Justin Hardy ’23 noted DeBenedictis’s ability to lift the moods of teammates despite hard practices or tough losses. One thing that Hardy highlighted was DeBenedictis’ upbeat energy.
Hardy said, “I think one thing that we all look up to is how he’s always in good spirits. He’s always in a good mood, no matter if we have a bad practice or a tough loss or something like that. He’s always in a good mood. He’ll always cheer. We want to make sure everyone’s, you know, checking on each other, make sure moods stay good in the locker room. That’s definitely very important. I think I mentioned again, him just being one of the nicest people I know. I think that’s something that the team looks up to be such a good example for being a good person.”
Echoing Hardy’s sentiments, Logan Cove ’24 added that DeBenedictis has a genuine kindness about him and a sense of positivity that has been crucial to the team. When he is not on the field, Cove mentioned that DeBenedictis continues this spirit.
“He has such a positive mindset. I mean, he’s one of the nicest guys on campus. He’s hilarious, the kid’s a great person. On top of that, he’s a fantastic football player. All his catches and yards… they contribute to our morale. Then he comes off the sideline and all he does is cheer. Not that he comes off much, but he definitely keeps everyone in a great mood. He’s one of the most positive guys I’ve ever played with,” Cove said.
According to Hardy, not only is DeBenedictis an outstanding leader, but also a friend whom his teammates admire.
“I think [he is an] extremely personable person. Anyone who’s interacting with him knows that that really contributes to his ability to be a leader because everyone sees him as more than just a leader — they see him as a friend. He’s a funny person. He’s an extremely nice person. Probably one of the nicest people I know and is a very outstanding person. So I think all those qualities combined make him a great leader,” said Hardy
On the athletic side, DeBenedictis is both a strong offensive and defensive player, according to Cove. His ability in the sport sets him apart, bringing a greater sense of respect from his teammates.
“It’s hard playing both sides and he does his job very well whether that’s with his tackling, run reads, past drops on defense, running the ball, run blocking, or pass blocking on offense. I mean, he does a great job with all of it, and I think we all respect it,” said Cove.
On the field, DeBenedictis focuses on his effort. As part of this, he noted the importance of mindset and the work you put into the game.
DeBenedictis said, “I definitely think probably the biggest thing on the field is effort because that kind of trickles down to the other members of your team. Say a [Junior] or [an Underclassman] sees you putting your head down if you’re down by a lot or not hustling out of play or something like that. I feel like that kind of sets a bad example and kind of goes back to being a good role model for the team.”