Just like at many high schools across America, football is a big deal at Andover High. It may even be a bigger deal here because of the legacy of outstanding players who went on to play at Ivy League colleges. This is because the coaches really push the players to be equally good at football and academics. The importance of academics is definitely highlighted.
Football has been given a bit of a bad rap lately when talking about head injuries, but in reality the benefits far outweigh the risks. And when you think about it risks for head injury are everywhere – skating, skateboarding, bicycle riding, horseback riding, really just about any activity kids are into. The advantages however are tremendous – better physical health, higher self-esteem, enhanced academic achievement, and fewer behavioral problems. The discipline of sports, not just football – training, teamwork, following the leadership of coaches and team captains, plus learning to lose gracefully and get back up again are indispensible qualities to have when one wishes to succeed in life.
The Andover High football coach is EJ Perry and EJ’s brother, James, attended Andover High and later went to Brown University to become on of the greatest players in the university’s history. James Perry is not the only one. Other include: Bobby, Mark, Paul and Buddy Farnham, Bill O’Brien, Brendan and Neil Finneran, and most recently Andy Coke.
William has always done well in school, but once the Ivy Leagues came calling he knew he needed to get more focused if he wanted to follow in these other students’ footsteps. Will pushed himself to be a better player and a better student. It definitely paid off. Contacted by Harvard, Princeton, and several other schools, Heikkinen decided to attend Brown because of the Andover/Providence legacy and because he values the education Brown can give him.