Ouachita is full of people with athletic ability who come to school and grow through their experiences here. Andrew Gendi, a political science major with an English minor from outside Houston, is a senior on the Ouachita football team. From an early age, Andrew has been playing football. He was eight years old when he first started playing and has continued to play through a career at Ouachita.
Originally a soccer player, he first noticed football around the time that his older brother was playing in middle school. He watched his oldest brother play it, thinking that his brother looked like he was having fun. After watching his brother, Andrew decided to give football a chance. After a few seasons, he excelled at the game.
Then it was time to choose a college, Andrew decided to attend Ouachita. He heard about the school through his head football coach in high school.
“Next thing I know, I get a call from one of the coaches here, and I’m on a visit and I came back home and compared all of my options, and OBU was the best one, [for] football and school,” Gendi said.
Once Gendi got to Ouachita, his skills as a football player were greatly influenced by the coaches. Gendi credited his success to several aspects of the program.
“Definitely the strength and conditioning program here, the different coaches … the [philosophy of the team] and putting in all the work in the weight room and outside. Having the coaches harp on me to be the best that I can, having the coaches there to help me and keep me accountable,” he said.
With the coaches driving Gendi to be his best, he went on to have a great collegiate career at OBU, and he started to grow into the athlete he is now.
Ouachita is also a place that teaches young adults how to be men and women of God. Gendi mentioned one person in particular who has helped him grow as a person while attending school and participating in athletics.
“Coach Knight definitely, he kept me accountable when I was a young, idiot freshman and helped grow me into a man. He made sure that I stayed out of trouble and made good grades, staying spiritually strong. He’s not the type of head coach that just lets you be, he cares about you,” Gendi said.
The football team is not just about football; after every practice, they pray and update the team about important prayer requests. Football isn’t just a sport; it also teaches life lessons.
“Stay persistent and determined; the coaches really taught us to finish empty and put everything you have in everything you do. Never give up no matter what the score is, or what the outcome will be, and…you should always finish empty.”
This lesson of finishing empty is important not just for athletes; it’s also useful for everyone, as it helps people grow and perservere.
Regarding his post-graduation plans, Gendi says, “I’m taking this next year off to study for the LSAT, to hopefully get into law school.”
Written by staff writer, John Sharp