Sires fighting for a state title
By Guy N. Limbeck
When Houston High School quarterback Andy Sires surveys the field to check out his teammates, he can’t help but smile.
That’s because when he looks around, he sees nothing but elite players. Sires and his talented mates will play for their first-ever state championship in football as the Hurricanes take on Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley in a battle of 13-0 teams in the Nine-man Prep Bowl championship. The game is at 10 a.m. on Friday at the Metrodome.
"There’s no better way to end your career than fighting for a state championship," Sires said.
Sires and the Hurricanes reached the state quarterfinals a year ago before losing.
"We weren’t just content to get here this year," Sires said. "We want to win (a state title)."
Sires has done his part as a strong field leader. The senior has completed 74 of 135 passes for 1,476 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also knows how to protect the ball with just one interception.
"The big thing about Andy is he’s an experienced leader and he takes charge of the offense and the team in general," Houston coach Jason Freed said.
Sires is a two-year captain, but he realizes he is just one cog in the Houston attack.
"I don’t put too much pressure on myself," Sires said. "I’m the quarterback, but I’m just one guy on the team. When I go back to pass, with our line, I’m cool (in the pocket)."
He also realizes what a potent overall offense the Hurricanes possess. Houston has outscored foes 627-107 this season. Senior running back Kevin Lindh has run for 1,574 yards and 25 touchdowns. Trent Kerrian has 701 yards rushing and 13 TDs while Zach Stackhouse has 461 yards and six scores.
Zack Clark (26 catches, 380 yards, 8 TDs) and Zach Olson (22 catches, 467 yards, 5 TDs) have been Sires’ top receiving targets.
"We have so much talent that it takes the pressure off me and makes me a better quarterback," Sires said. "This is definitely my best season and it’s definitely the best football I’ve played."
And Sires is quick to deflect credit.
"It’s because of all the great guys around me," he said.
Freed says Sires is almost like having another coach on the field.
"He really sees the game well and tells us what he sees," Freed said. "He’s also matured as a player and has watched a lot of film."
Now Sires and his Houston teammates are one win away from their season- and life-long goal.