In the world of Texas high school football, there is no shortage of talented and versatile quarterbacks. That’s especially true in Class 6A, with the likes of Charlie Brewer (Lake Travis) and Shawn Robinson (DeSoto) among many others. However, neither one led Class 6A in passing yards at the end of the regular season.
That honor went to El Paso Montwood quarterback Andrew Fernandez, who finished with 3,281 passing yards during the regular season.
“It was great,” Fernandez said when he learned of that stat at the end of the season, “It was just a product of hard work.”
The junior signal caller was a big part of his team’s success this past year, finishing 7-4 overall and 6-1 in District 1-6A and earning a share of the district title. In his first full season as a varsity starter, Fernandez was a standout in his own right, averaging 312.5 yards per game and throwing for over 400 yards twice in 2016. He has the arm to produce but it’s the mental edge that stands out for his coaches.
“You can coach a lot of things, but with the intangibles, the kid either has them or he doesn’t and Andrew’s a kid that will will his team to victory,” said Montwood head coach Ariel Famaligi, “I’ve never seen it as much in one person as I’ve seen with him.”
As good as Fernandez played in 2016, he’s one of the first players to credit his team.
“We had a very good group last season,” Fernandez said, “We really worked hard and with our leaders from this year’s team, we were able to be successful.”
Football is also not the only sport that Fernandez has found success in. He’s also an outfielder for the baseball team and is preparing to get that season underway. As of this article, Fernandez doesn’t have any offers, but has been in contact with schools such as UTEP, Purdue and Navy among others. As for how he’ll approach the recruiting process, he still hasn’t decided but he is interested in pursuing both spots at the next level “if the opportunity presents itself.”
Back on the gridiron, Fernandez is aiming his focus on becoming even better as a runner and working to cut down on the 13 interceptions from a season ago. Famaligi also wants him to work on his development as a pocket passer.
“We are going to work on his footwork and mechanics this offseason,” Famaligi said, “He should be better protected next season and I think that will also help. We’re going to really focus on that so that he becomes more comfortable in the pocket.”
There’s a lot of time between now and the first game of the 2017 season for the Montwood Rams. That said, Fernandez believes that his team will be right back in the mix for another District 1-6A title and perhaps even more.
“I had a lot of trust in my team and put in the work in practice day after day. We had a good season, but we’re looking to build off of that for next year.”