Grand Rapids Football’s Andy Thomsen Facing Adversity Head On
Andy Thomsen was expected to be one of the top senior football players in Minnesota this fall. He was set to play quarterback and linebacker for Grand Rapids and committed to play Division I college football at North Dakota State University. However, back in August, Andy suffered an unexpected spinal injury that forced him to walk away from the sport he loved and had poured so much time into.
As he recovered from a successful surgery to stabilize a few broken vertebrae in his upper back, Andy continued to show up to every one of his team’s practices and games throughout the season. Being there with his team during the season was both difficult and helpful. With Andy still leading the team from the sidelines, the Thunderhawks advanced to their first state tournament in 15 years.
Throughout life, Andy has been able to lean on his grandfather Tom Drazenovich, who also ultimately suffered a career-ending injury when he was younger. Drazenovich, better known as “Tommy D” in Grand Rapids, was a Thunderhawk teacher and coach for over 30 years, making connections with hundreds of student-athletes, but one of his closest connections was, of course, with his grandson.
Andy’s future is a little more uncertain then what it was just three months ago. Despite not being able to play football again because of a heightened risk of paralysis, the North Dakota State University coaching staff decided to still honor their scholarship offered to Andy. No matter what he ends up doing in life, Andy will always share a special connection to his grandfather, Tommy D.