It wasn’t just any Wednesday for Miami Trace High School senior Andrew Guthrie.
Not just the Wednesday before Christmas or the first day of Winter.
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022 was the day Guthrie made his future plans official, signing on National Letter of Intent Day a commitment to attend Campbell University, located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, some 30 miles from the state capital, Raleigh.
Guthrie was joined by family and friends for the special event, held at the Rusty Keg, where folks socialized and otherwise celebrated and commemorated the milestone.
“It’s quite an accomplishment these days to be able to secure a full ride scholarship, especially with the (transfer) portal out there right now and taking so many kids at the collegiate level,” Miami Trace head football coach Jerry Williams said. “For a high school-level kid to be able to secure a scholarship certainly means a lot.
“For Miami Trace, he certainly was a leader for us,” Williams said. “He was one of those guys that, when he was on the field we knew we were a much better football team. Unfortunately, his junior and senior years, he struggled with some injuries. And that hurt him with some of his accomplishments and awards at the end of the season. If he can stay healthy, he’s a good football player and he’s going to be a good football player for Campbell.
“He’s an offensive tackle,” Williams said. “He can certainly be a force. Once he gets to the collegiate level and gets in the weight room and does some things, he’ll be a good football player. Without a doubt he can be a good college football player.
“The unknown is the portal these days and what happens with the talent that stays and the talent that leaves Campbell,” Williams said. “Where he’s supposed to be right now is a left tackle for Campbell. They have high hopes for him and we’re very optimistic about it.”
“It’s always a dream to play at the next level, no matter what sport it is,” Andrew Guthrie said. “As a little kid, you’re always dreaming about playing with the big boys at the next level, the Division I level.”
For those who are unfamiliar with Campbell, the Fighting Camels are currently a member of the Big South Conference, but will be joining the Colonial Athletic Association on July 1. They have been an NCAA Division I program since 1977.
“It’s always a great dream and a great accomplishment to be able to do that,” Guthrie said.
How did he arrive at the decision to attend and play for Campbell?
“For me, personally, Campbell really stood out,” Guthrie said. “They’ve always been the front-runner. Coach (Famika) Anae, he’s the offensive line coach there, he and I have a really good bond, so, I think it will be great playing for him.”
As for a couple of other schools that either he was interested in or that showed interest in him, Guthrie mentioned the University of Pittsburgh (the Pitt Panthers) and Middle Tennessee.
“When I took my visit, it’s really similar to how Washington Court House is,” Guthrie said of Campbell. “It’s a real little community and that’s what I really like. So, I won’t be homesick when I go there, hopefully. I loved the campus, I loved the place, I loved the atmosphere.”
At Miami Trace, Guthrie said his favorite teacher is Amy Bush, a math instructor.
“My favorite subject would be math,” Guthrie said.
“For my minor, I’m going to do business,” Guthrie said. “They have a five-year business degree. My major is going to be agriculture, so, I’m going to do agricultural business. My uncle farms so, I help him in the summer. That’s my main hobby when I’m not doing sports.”
Though he played baseball growing up, his two main sports in high school are football and basketball.
Guthrie was asked about a favorite moment in high school athletics.
“My favorite football memory would definitely be having us block the kick at Court House last year to win that game,” Guthrie said. “That was definitely a big moment and a big opportunity for us as a team to beat Court House for the first time in our class history.”
As for people he would like to thank, he said, “My parents, Brad and Jennifer Guthrie, my little brother, Adam (a freshman at Miami Trace), coach (Jerry) Williams and coach (Curt) Ware. And Darren Gammell, he runs a recruiting organization which I’m a part of. I wouldn’t be here without him.”
As for playing time at his position, offensive tackle, Guthrie explained, “I’m going to stay as an offensive lineman. They return both of their starters from last year and both of them are probably going to go to the NFL. So, I plan on red-shirting my freshman year and hopefully playing my sophomore year.
“I thank all (of my teammates) for all of their support,” Guthrie said. “And for their pushing me to get better in practice and to get to the next level.”
Guthrie was joined at the signing by his grandfathers, Keith Guthrie and Jim Newell.
Guthrie is the grandson of the late Kay Guthrie and the late Shirley Newell.