Andy Durand started his senior season scoring two touchdowns in the season-opening loss to Chelsea but it was the following week where everything took off for the Dexter football team. And once the Dreadnaughts scored that confidence they took off in historical fashion – reaching the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
“Our expectation heading into the season was to make it all the way to playoffs,” Durand said. “I knew and had confidence in our team because of the talent we had. I knew we had it in us from the start. It was going to happen and we all felt it.”
It didn’t take long for Durand to see that this Dexter team was not only going to be different but special.
“I have to say that I knew from the first day of practice,” he says. “Coaches knew it and believed in us. We all had a different attitude and approach. It was contagious.”
While they lost the opener to rival Chelsea, Dexter got on the board in week two with an impressive win over visiting Ypsilanti.
“It was like getting the monkey off our back and that we were released from some kind of spell,” Durand said. “But most importantly, it gave us confidence to move forward.”
Helping the Dreads move forward was Durand, who helped put the spark into an electric offense. The speedy senior made things happen with his great vision, quickness and burst of speed that seemed to catch defenders by surprise.
During a remarkable season, Durand caught 40 passes for 598 yards and scored five touchdowns. He also put the special in special teams, finishing with 295 kickoff return yards and two kick returns for touchdowns.
A First-Team All-SEC selection, Durand totaled 893 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns. One of the team captains, Durand was selected to play in the Legacy All Star Senior Football game to be aired live on Fox Sports Detroit on Nov. 25.
The game will be the final highlight of a season of highlights for Durand. But a few stand out.
“To be able to score a touchdown during the game against Pinckney was a personal highlight for me,” he said. “I played football in Pinckney through middle school and I was proud to show my old friends what I could do. Another personal highlight was to start the season with two touchdowns in the first game against Chelsea.”
But what he is most proud of is what the team accomplished. Dexter finished the season with a 6-4 record, falling in the first round of the playoffs to undefeated South Lyon 31-24 in overtime.
“I am so proud of all of us seniors,” he says. “We went through so much adversity through the years playing football in hopes of a win. We worked hard and it paid off. We broke the streak! I’m proud of making history with this team by making the playoffs. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Durand, the son of Laura and Mike Durand, played freshman football helping the young Dreads go 5-4. “This was the start of something great with these guys” he said. “It was the foundation of the core of senior leadership to come.”
He was called up to play varsity to start at wide receiver as a sophomore. “I was so excited and looked up to the older guys on the team, Hiser, McCurren and Flattery to name a few. They taught me what it means to be a leader. Despite our record of 0-9, I felt inspired by this team.”
During his junior season, Durand played both sides of the ball.
“We were a young team with only a handful of seniors,” he said. “We all felt that the big win was at our finger tips. We were so close that year but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Durand finished his junior year being named All-SEC Honorable Mention and team MVP.
While playing with and against the best players in the state at the All-Star Game later this month, Durand, 17, doesn’t see the game as an end – but a beginning.
“I definitely want to play in college,” he said. “It would be great to play football while gaining an education in either Criminal Justice, Homeland Security or Business Management.”
He is currently looking at Tiffin University, SVSU, Concordia, Siena Heights, Hope, Lawrence Tech, Baldwin Wallace and a few others.