by Larry Ham
It’s always a risk to place high expectations on something. It’s especially risky when you place those high expectations on yourself. Joshua Andrews did that, and the results were amazing.
Joshua Andrews has been the one bright spot in an otherwise forgettable season for the Reedley College Football Team. In the eight games he’s played in 2011, he’s rushed for 706 yards and six touchdowns. As the Tigers prepare for their final game against Fresno City College, Joshua is looking forward to continuing his exploits as one of the most exciting and talented running backs to ever carry the ball for the Tigers.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Joshua a few questions about his life – both on the field and off.
Larry: Tell us about where you grew up and how you got started in athletics.
Joshua: I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. I got started in athletics at a very young age participating in Martial Arts around the age of four.
Larry: Did you know at an early age that sports was something you wanted to pursue?
Joshua: Yes, I’ve always known that I wanted to be involved in athletics; it’s always been something I have enjoyed and was never forced to do anything.
Larry: Every athlete has a few heroes when they were growing up. Who were the athletes you followed as a kid?
Joshua: My favorite athletes growing up were Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders, Allen Iverson, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Larry: What kind of success did you have in high school?
Joshua: I did very well in high school I participated in three sports, and excelled at all three.
Larry: It’s a long trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Reedley, California. How did you end up at Reedley College?
Joshua: I did a lot of my research on JC’s in California, and Reedley seemed to be the best decision for me.
Larry: You have had a wonderful two years here at Reedley College. What do you attribute that success to?
Joshua: I have been fortunate to have great teammates in my tenure here at Reedley College who keep me encouraged, and I thank GOD for blessing me with a great offensive line, they have played a great part in my success.
Larry: What makes you such a standout on the field?
Joshua: Most importantly, I would say my work ethic, preparation, and just becoming a student of the game.
Larry: It’s been a tough couple of seasons win-wise, but what would you say is the highlight of your career here at RC?
Joshua: This year when we came back in the fourth quarter against Hartnell and went into overtime.
Larry: What do you think of Reedley?
Joshua: I enjoy being here I have really met some great people and formed great friendships that I would like to see last a lifetime.
Larry: The life of a football player is a busy one, especially one who’s also going to class five days a week. Has it been difficult?
Joshua: No, it is not difficult at all. I have been doing it my whole life, and it has become a routine. It’s actually difficult for me when I am not busy.
Larry: What’s next for you? Is there a particular four-year school you’re keeping an eye on?
Joshua: There is nowhere in particular, whoever offers me the opportunity to continue to pursue my dream of playing football and receiving an education.
There’s no better testimony to the excellence of a player than that of his coach, a person who probably knows the player as well as anyone. Reedley College head coach Randy Whited has been impressed by what he’s seen from Joshua over the past two seasons. “Josh has a tremendous work ethic and understands the mental and physical intensity that is required to play college football. He has been our most consistent practice and game day performer.”
Another person who knows Joshua well is Jacquie Forry. Jacquie and her husband John opened up their home this school year to Joshua and another Tiger, Tight End Derrick Cook. Jacquie says there’s not really a secret to Joshua’s success. “Josh loves playing football, in fact we kid him about having a one track mind – 100% football. But he says he does think about other things, well at least 1% of the time.”
She also says having Joshua and Derrick around this year has brought back some great memories. “Our son played for Reedley a few years back and it has been a lot of fun reliving that time through Josh and Derrick. Josh is hoping to continue football at the next level and knowing Josh’s drive, we look forward to watching him grow as both an athlete and young man.”
On a personal note, Joshua Andrews is not a big person, by football standards. But when you meet him face to face, you begin to understand the hard work that goes into making a body strong enough to survive 300-pound defensive linemen trying to smash you into the ground. I was talking to Joshua before the COS game last Saturday, and because of a shoulder injury, he wasn’t suited up for the game. I put my hand on his shoulder while I was talking to him, and I wondered to myself “Why is he wearing shoulder pads?” Well, it turns out he wasn’t! He has worked so hard to make himself into a sturdy running back, it just felt like those shoulders were really shoulder pads!
In the pantheon of great running backs to carry the ball for the Reedley College Tigers, Joshua Andrews ranks right up there with the best. He has a bright future, and it will be fun to see where he goes. The sky is the limit.