Year of the quarterback
Senior staff writer
No doubt about it, 2015 will be The Year of the Quarterback on the Southside.
The elite quartet consists of 6-5 senior Luke Johnston at Southport, flashy junior Chance Andries at Beech Grove, third-generation football standout Joey Siderewicz at Center Grove and a mature Jake Reid at Lutheran.
Johnston already owns Southport’s career records of 467 completions, 5,923 yards and 57 touchdowns in two full seasons.
Andries, a double threat, completed 204 passes last year for 2,906 yards and 33 touchdowns as the Hornets produced their most prolific offense in history. In two seasons, he has 256 completions, 3,526 yards, and 40 touchdowns.
Siderewicz’s grandfather was a legendary coach at Martinsville, where the football field is named in his honor, and his dad serves as an assistant coach at Center Grove. Siderewicz stats last year were a modest 77 completions for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns. However, the Trojans put together a 9-4 record and just missed reaching 6A state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Reid came into his own as a superbly capable quarterback during the last half of the season as Lutheran claimed sectional and regional championships.
There is no telling where the numbers will end for Johnston and Andries as they worked on improving their games during the offseason.
The lanky Johnston worked out in the weight room to become stronger and more physical. He leads by example and leaves the vocal leadership to the coaches and senior linemen.
“I don’t think about records; I just go out there and try to run the offense, try to make good reads,” Johnston said. “The O-line blocks, and the receivers come up big. We want to keep it going and concentrate on our game plan for each game.”
Andries started eight games as a freshman and blossomed last season with a lightning-fast corps of receivers. He also has worked on staying more in the pocket to mix it up against the defense.
“The points that we can put on the board really give us a lot of confidence,” Andries said. “It also forces the opposing defenses to scout us a lot. We want to be a threat in the air and on the ground, and that’s kind of rare in this conference (Indiana Crossroads).”
The Saints were 10-4 as Reid surfaced and led them on a six-game winning streak late in the season.
“He (Reid) has to be among the top quarterbacks in 1A,” Saints coach Dave Pasch said. “He is a tremendous leader, and he’s been tested so the guys look up to him. There are high expectations for him.”
Elsewhere, senior Matt McCloskey takes over at Perry Meridian for Tristen Tonte, who transferred to Warren Central, Greenwood junior A.J. Reinhardt and sophomore Seth Gallman battle for the QB spot vacated by senior Tanner Skeel, and senior Robbie Strader is back to call signals at Roncalli.