Andrew Mevis
Andrew Mevis
There has been a member of the Mevis family handling punting, kickoff and placekicking duties for the Warsaw Tiger football program each football season since 2014. Andrew Mevis first planted his foot in Warsaw turf as a sophomore. His powerful right leg made Tiger football fans accustomed to seeing kickoffs go for touchbacks, long field goals making the difference in close games, and coffin-corner punts that pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line.

The 2017 Warsaw Community High School graduate is still handling these duties as a collegiate kicker at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) for Fordham University.

Mevis and his Fordham Rams visit Ball State for a clash with the Cardinals in Scheumann Stadium, his first collegiate game outside of the thirteen colonies, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

While he’s still on planet Earth, he’s in a different world in many ways. Fordham is in The Bronx, a borough of New York City, north of Manhattan and an environment completely different from the confines of Northern Indiana.

Fordham plays in the Patriot League, a conference where the competition level is just as rigorous in the classroom as it is on the playing field. Andrew hasn’t played a game west of Hamilton, N.Y. (Colgate University) since he played in the Under Armour All-Star Game in Texas in Jan. 2017.

“There will be more jokes between my teammates and me because many of my teammates have never traveled to the Midwest.” Mevis said.

He’s excited to see how he and his teammates react in the situation against a higher level opponent (Football Bowl Subdivision - FBS) so his team can transition their experience into Patriot League challenges.

His travels have been confined to the Northeast U.S. among Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.  Most of the landscape is hilly, and the trips take him off the Interstate highways. Some schools are in small cities (Bucknell in Lewiston, Penn.) while others are in metropolitan areas (Georgetown in Washington D.C.).

One of his most memorable views was on the way to play Bucknell.

“Going down the mountain looking over the valley on the way to play Bucknell I was able to see the town that hosts the Little League World Series (Williamsport). That was a beautiful view, and I could see the entire valley.”

The Fordham Rams travel everywhere by ground, not chartered jets like some major programs travel.

Mevis said The Bronx is much different from his Southtown neighborhood in Winona Lake.

“On campus you can’t tell you’re in New York; its really quite amazing,” he said. “The only way you can tell you’re in New York are the sirens, the traffic and the horns honking.”

One would think when Mevis returns home from Fordham each summer the change of pace would be the greatest difference between the Bronx and Winona Lake, but Mevis said otherwise.

“It’s really interesting one of the first things I say is ‘It’s just so quiet here (Winona Lake)’ when I come home. New York has the constant buzz of noise,” he said. “Here at first, it’s almost too quiet but I kind of like the quiet. You can hear pure nature at home that is usually drowned out by the noise in New York. There are no frogs out here croaking, just the New York pigeons out here.”

Kicking is a mental game, and Mevis has had success at Fordham. A starter since his freshman year, the second-team all-league kicker averaged 40.3 yards per punt in 2018, and kicked a career long 54-yard field goal in the swirling winds of Massachusetts against Holy Cross. He earned Patriot League academic honor roll laurels as well. The business management major, who is adding concentrations in healthcare business and systems to his major, handles the mental aspect of the kicking game well.

“I had a 24-yard field goal last (Saturday) night, and as I’m lining everything up, I’m right in front of the opponent’s section. I could not hear anything at all. I was focused on my spot and my cue to go. It was just quiet.”

Andrew’s comparison between the smaller high school home crowd and the college football crowd would surprise fans.

“One thing I found interesting and might be hard for some people to grasp is when I’m out on the field it’s easier to kick and punt in front of people now (at Fordham) than it was in high school. I knew most of the people in the Warsaw stands; more than I do now in Fordham or any other college stadium. It’s just one loud noise in the college football realm. There is more noise in college, but there is more emotion around an athlete coming from the stands in high school.”

Warsaw Tiger football families have probably seen the John Wooden-esque pregame schedule Tiger coach Bart Curtis sets for his team. Mevis said a college pre-game schedule is even tighter.

“Preparing before the game mentally will allow you to overcome the burden of traveling,” he said. “We have a set schedule we run whether we are home or away. Ground travel time allows guys to look at their playbooks longer. Your schedule is set with team meetings, dinner. The meal we eat does not change.”

Mevis’s teammates are comprised of alumni among the most prestigious schools in the Eastern U.S. like the Choate School, Shadyside Academy (PA), Pope John (New Jersey).

He is a bright young man who performs as well academically as his prep school teammates.

“The difference between the prep school kids and the other kids here is their time management skills. They separate college and football very well,” he said. “I feel like those guys are more like me, a type A personality as opposed to a go-with-the-flow type of guy. I feel we’re very relatable.”

Mevis felt like his coaching and approach to kicking at WCHS prepared him for his current on-field success. He and Warsaw Tiger special teams coach Cole Richards broke kicking down to body position, kicking lines, and kicking to the coverage.

“Things in the game field, the kind of the strategy flows to what I’m doing now like punt protection and coverage, directional punting, field goal wise.” He added.

Patriot League schools tend to be on hills or in valleys, with weather elements requiring focus and hours of practice testing his limits.

“The winds swirl, so there is at least a 10-mile per hour wind at home or among all the stadiums where I play, especially in New York, at home and at Colgate especially.”

Andrew is looking to return to Warsaw after graduation from Fordham.

“I want to ;ook toward some orthopedic places in town, or someplace close to Warsaw and build off one of the areas among my three concentrations.”

Mevis will bring a broader view of the world, and a business-like approach to his kicking game, to Muncie Saturday, where family and friends eagerly await another chance to see him play.