It's routine for high school students to complain about a long bus ride or commute to school. You can hardly blame them if such protests bring the possibility of a cushy car ride in the future. Yet few students athletes -- if any -- can compare their daily sojourn to school with that of Chris Andrews, the senior quarterback for St. Joseph's (N.J.) High School whose commute to the private school from his home in Queens crosses through two states, two New York City boroughs, a car ride, subway ticket and bus ride and a full two hours door-to-door.
"He's a great kid. I don't know how he does it every day," Rob Stern, a St. Joseph assistant coach, told NorthJersey.com.
According to a story from NorthJersey.com, Andrews wakes up each morning at 5:00 to arrive at school by St. Joseph's 8 a.m. opening bell. He doesn't return home until after 8:30 p.m., more than 15 hours after his day started ... and then has to start on chores around the house.
All of that sacrifice and lack of sleep could wear most people down, let alone most students. Yet Andrews seems undaunted by the lengths to which he goes to attend the school he chose. Instead, he tries to focus more on his classes, where he has built up the 3.5 GPA that has helped make him a more attractive prospect for Division III schools like Hobart, Holy Cross and Pennsylvania, among others.
"I knew it was a better school and a better education, and it's a higher level of football," Andrews told NorthJersey.com.
Andrews' success at St. Joseph, which he has helped lead to a 5-3 record, requires an obsessive organizational style that belies his age. He relies on militaristic organization of everything from his breakfast cereal and sock drawer to his school books to make sure he can reach each point of his day in the right frame of mind to succeed.
He hopes his current regimen and more strenuous football background at St. Joseph's will help him land a college scholarship, though he admits that's anything but a certainty.
Given what he's accomplished, and the lengths to which he's gone to make those things happen, it seems unlikely that Andrews wouldn't be able to find a collegiate home. If he can't, at least no one will be able to say that he didn't go an extra mile to try and make it happen.
"I think about his commute," Stern told NorthJersey.com. "When I'm getting out of here, he's starting a journey."