Andrew Duval: The Mailman


Emma Shanahan, Staff Writer

“I felt the sweat dripping down the side of my face. It was fall but the sun was shining. Nobody wanted to beat them more then I did.”

It’s homecoming week at Goffstown High School and the biggest crowd all season has come out to watch the Goffstown Grizzlies’ Football Team play the Bedford Bulldogs. The tension is unbearable. After losing to their football rivals in the previous season, the desire for a win is intensified.

It was 14-7 Goffstown, and with only one touchdown separating the two teams, the game was close. The offensive line decided to go with a run pass option. Quarterback Charlie Keith fakes a handoff to running back Jack Stinnett, then passes it to Andrew Duval, playing slot back. This wasn’t the planned play, but as Duval ran a 30 yard touchdown from a screen pass, it is clear why he’s called the mailman… because he always delivers.

After starting football in the first grade, Andrew hated it. Beginning his football career on the Goffstown Screamin’ Eagles, Duval said it was too much work. After 13 years of the sport he hated, he describes it as “his whole life.”

Thirteen years.

Three months, every year, for thirteen years.

Yes, that does sound like a huge part of his life, but that only made him better.

As any offensive player in a sport, Andrew tends to get the glory. Playing slot back, a receiver position and safety, he completed his season with 15 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and 718 total recorded yards. When asked if he felt any pressure as one of the most recognized players on the team, Duval replied “No, even though many look at me for my success, I know that I can’t do it without my team.”

As his favorite part of the sport is the games, he was nervous before every single one of them. With football being one of the most popular sports, all the spectators watched an individual play till its end, or the touchdown pass made, and the happiness between players after scoring. The fans feel it too. They also feel the disappointment when a pass is intercepted, or the ball is fumbled, but unlike the team, the spectators point fingers and blame certain players, and that is what really intimidates someone.

“There is nothing like knowing I’m going to make a touchdown” said Andrew. “After the line, when I’m just running it up the side, I can hear the crowd cheering for me, my team cheering for me. It is one of the best feelings I’ve felt in my life.”

After being bestowed the title of The Mailman by Al Potvin, the voice of the grizzlies, his sophomore year, Andrew never anticipated being named Gatorade Player of the Year. Anticipating the best player award to go to a kid on the Nashua team, Duval was surprised to hear that he had earned this, even though many other people were not.

Continuously reloading his twitter page on a Monday in early December, Andrew read that he was identified as the best player in the state of New Hampshire for his senior year in high school, as the award is only given to seniors. When asked who he could thank, he reluctantly said his mom. She has always been there for him from the beginning. Taking him to his practices and games, dealing with his attitude when he was over tired at the end of a hard week, and helping him recognize that losing the game was a way to learn (not something to regret), even though sometimes she might’ve been more upset then he was.

Andrew Duval also recognized his teammates who have been there with him since day one. Joey Poisson, Jake Brown, Coleman Handrahan, and Adam Moses have been playing football together for those same thirteen years, and they knew how to work with each other. With varying positions on the field, these boys knew how to win a game together, and Duval doesn’t think he would be the same player without them.

As it is common knowledge that head coach Justin Hufft is the best football coach in the state of New Hampshire, he carries the team on his shoulders. Duval identified how he and his team love and respect Coach Hufft because they wouldn’t be the same without him. Andrew also said he would thank Hufft and his other coaches for everything they did that put him in the position he is in today.

Andrew Duval, The Mailman, The Gatorade Player of the Year, can also now add the title of Wildcat. As he will start at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 2018, he will also be playing on their football team. After being recruited to play receiver on the Division I NCAA team, Duval will carry his high school glory with him everywhere he goes, and will use everything he has learned from his team and coaches to do just as well on his new team.

In being an inspiration and a role model to the young football players in our small town, Duval said “Don’t quit” to the next generation of Grizzlies. “After being tired, tackled down, and lost, don’t quit, because hard work is what pays off, not giving up.”