It only took one time out on the gridiron when he was 8 years old for Michael Bandy to decide that football was the sport for him.
“My dad signed me up, and I was really interested,” says Bandy. “[I wasn’t sure] what was going to happen, but the first day of pads—suited up, all buckled up, ready to go—and the first time I made contact, I fell in love with the sport.”
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As a senior and second year varsity player for Servite High School, Bandy is a two-way player for the Friars as wide receiver on offense and safety on defense. But the 17-year-old will say that his heart is on the offensive side of the ball.
“There’s no greater feeling than running through that end line and celebrating with your teammates after,” says Bandy.
Bandy’s love for football hasn’t been without its challenges. Admittedly undersized compared to his competition, he takes what could be considered a setback and instead uses it as motivation.
“I knew I had to get stronger and the best at my technique,” says Bandy, “so I worked hard in the weight room, listened to my coaches and did the extra work in the off-season so I can perform the best I can.”
In his final year competing for the Friars, Bandy is keeping his goals simple, taking one week at a time, playing his best and celebrating the strong brotherhood that comes with representing Servite. Varsity football head coach Scott Meyer has high expectations of his senior player.
“Michael is a very hard worker and has great passion for playing football,” says Meyer. “He is a young man who will help us on offense, defense and special teams this year, and is a player who is well respected by both his coaches and his teammates.”
Off the football field, Bandy will spend his spring season on the baseball diamond for the Friars as a second-year varsity player. He also helps lead Servite’s well-known student cheering section, “The Asylum,” which is often ranked at the top in Orange County for high school spirit.
Additionally, Bandy is part of a program on campus called Youth Lifting, which introduces middle school athletes to lifting and weight room techniques while preparing them for the training regimens expected in athletics at the high school level.
The La Mirada resident is open to continuing to play either football or baseball in college, while pursuing a law degree. Grateful each time he steps on the field for “the opportunity [God] gives us,” Bandy uses his faith and the guidance of his parents as inspiration.
“They are amazing people,” Bandy says. “They lead me the right way every time. I can always trust them, and I know that they are always there for me.”