Cooper Andres and Carson Lowrie both signed national letters of intent on Tuesday, June 1, to attend the College of Idaho on athletic scholarships.
Andres and Lowrie both dedicated years of their lives to playing football, and almost didn’t get to play their senior year due to strict mandates set in place in response to the national pandemic. Luckily, parents and administrators fought to make the season possible and they expounded every ounce of strength and effort they had into every moment they were given on the field.
Daniel Ward, WHS head varsity football coach and athletic director, expressed how fortunate he felt to witness this huge accomplishment for not one but two WHS athletes.
“Cooper is the best lineman that I have ever coached and probably one of the best prospects — for any sport — that we have had come out of Winters High School. It is not very often that we have an athlete that has the size, athleticism, skill and intelligence to compete at the next level and Cooper has all of those,” Ward said. “To say he was dominant this year would be an understatement. Most games we played, I felt bad for the person that had to line up across from him. I have never seen a lineman impact the game as much as he did this past year. On offense, we ran behind him as often as possible — even when the other team knew it was coming. Defensively, he constantly took on double teams and still usually made the play.”
Most importantly, Ward said, Cooper is extremely intelligent and was like having another coach on the field.
“His size, work ethic and intelligence are what are going to make him successful at the next level,” Ward said.
Andres started playing football when he was nine years old and has been working hard ever since. Trained as a lineman, Andres was moved up to varsity at the end of his freshman year and never went back.
Andres’ talent, work ethic and intelligence allowed him to be appointed team captain multiple times. He made the first Team All League for Sacramento Valley his sophomore and junior year, was elected as Lineman of the Year his freshman, sophomore and junior year, and made the all camp team in Lake Tahoe.
While this list of accomplishments is very impressive, Andres is most proud of being named first team all league lineman his sophomore year.
“It was a big accomplishment because I was only a sophomore playing on varsity with kids that were 18 years old,” said Andres.
While it will be challenging to be away from his friends and family, Andres said is so excited to attend the College of Idaho because it is a great campus with an impeccable football program and phenomenal coaches.
Lucky for Andres, he won’t be leaving all his friends behind, as Lowrie will also be attending the College of Idaho. Andres and Lowrie have been playing together since eighth grade when both boys turned to Esparto when their hometowns didn’t have enough players to accommodate an eighth grade team. This is the kind of dedication that has allowed both men to be so successful playing football.
“Carson was born to play football. He is one of the toughest kids that I have ever coached and he truly loves the game of football. He worked harder than anyone this off season in preparation for his senior year that kept getting postponed — and without any guarantee of a football season this year — he continued to train on his own and organize and hold player-run practices,” said Ward. “Carson is a great all-around athlete which is demonstrated by his switch from an All League Quarterback to an All League Runningback in one season where he was not only our leading rusher, but also our leading receiver.”
Ward said that on the field, Lowrie is extremely physical and a punishing runner who truly wore defenses down throughout the game.
“I honestly believe that if we played a full season this year, he would have broken the single-season records for rushing yards and touchdowns in a season — both records held by his
older brother Jake. His versatility, athleticism and toughness are the traits that will help him be the most successful next year,” Ward said.
Lowrie started his football career at the age of six, building the foundation for his high school football career in the Junior Warrior program and was also a Vaca Bulldog for a short time. Lowrie had an exceptional high school career. He was named the Offensive MVP his freshman year and was moved up to play on varsity as a quarterback in the middle of his sophomore year. While being moved up as an underclassmen is a huge accomplishment, to Lowrie it meant even more.
“The moment that stands out most is sophomore year when I got pulled up to varsity and threw two passing touchdowns to my older brother against Williams” Lowrie said.
Lowrie was also made the Lake Tahoe Camp All Camp Team his sophomore year and was also awarded First Team All League Quarterback his junior year. While all of these accomplishments are noteworthy, Lowrie has really left his mark this year receiving several recognitions from being named the All League Running Back by the California Association of Private Sports, to attending the National Football Hall of Fame and being voted as Outstanding in Football Performance Academic Achievement and School Leadership, to being award Male Athlete of the Year for Winters High School 2021.
Lowrie considers his teammates as family and is looking forward to playing college football and building new bonds and friendships.
Andres and Lowrie have had amazing high school football careers and mentioned how playing football in Winters has allowed them to build bonds that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Once a Warrior always a Warrior.