February 23, 2024

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Football players help Andrean win state, take home school’s third title this year | Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrean had a little extra edge in Friday’s Class 3A state championship game against Brebeuf Jesuit.

Three starters — Drayk Bowen, Alonzo Paul and Billy Jones played on the 59ers Class 2A state football championship team. All three and a couple of reserves pulled a double-double in winning the state baseball title in a 5-1 win over Brebeuf.

Bowen, a Notre Dame football signee, said winning both titles are equal. He walked a scored a run.

“I’m excited that we won both,” he said. “I’m looking forward to football now and hopefully win number two.”

In addition to football and baseball, Andrean also won a Class 2A girls volleyball title and were state runner-up in Class A girls soccer.

“It’s a sports school,” Bowen said. “Pretty much everybody plays sports. We all put academics first, but we all want to win. We’re going to come out in every sport and compete and hopefully come out on top.”

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Bowen, who is a 4-star recruit and the No. 1 player in his class in Indiana, said the football guys, including Chuck Koeppen and Angel Ramirez, talked about the possibility of winning both titles.

“We were excited that we had a chance to go back-to-back in two sports,” he said.

Jones said winning both titles is unbelievable but baseball is his favorite sport.

“I plan on playing in college,” he said.

Jones went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. He made a diving catch in centerfield for the second out of the seventh inning.

“I knew I had my right fielder backing me up, so I might as well go for it,” he said.

Jones said the rigors of football and the state tournament run prepared them for baseball.

“Just the aggressiveness helps a lot with everything for baseball,” he said.

It’s all part of the phenomenal year for Andrean sports

“We love winning,” Jones said. “It’s a culture of winning. We love doing things right.”

Paul’s two-run single in the second inning off Vanderbilt recruit Andrew Dutkanych, and a possible first-round draft pick, gave the Niners a 2-0 lead. 

“This moment is pretty special,” he said. “Football was awesome, but I got hurt in that one. This one I was able to finish it out. We had a great win, and especially kind of being the underdog even though we were No. 1 ranked. That’s a good guy on the mound over there, so this was awesome.”

Dutkanych was the hardest thrower Andrean faced all year.

“We were definitely prepared,” Paul said. “We were confident coming in, and we knew what he’s gonna throw. We were ready for it.”

Paul said when you play for Andrean, you’re part of something great, and the culture is supportive.

“You just want to provide for everyone, so I think it’s kind of contagious,” he said. “It just brings out the best in every team.”

Winning state in baseball is something the football guys had thought about for a while.

“We’ve been counting down this day for over 200 days,” Paul said. “So just to finally be here is a special moment. Drayk has been my best friend since I was 12 years old, so this is a special moment to have with him.”

Coach Dave Pishkur said he counted on the football players for leadership from Day 1.

“At one point I talked to the football players,” he said. “I said, ‘You know what, when we get to the postseason, we’re going to count on you to kind of help lead a little bit.’ And they did. It was an amazing group of kids.”