Yanni Demogerontas and Michael Howard of Sandburg

Michael Howard (left) and Yanni Demogerontas hope their determination and hard work will take Sandburg to a state title. (Yanni Demogerontas photo)

Returning Sandburg football players Yanni Demogerontas and Michael Howard share the same goal – to win a state championship. Head coach Dave Wierzal said that Demogerontas is being recruited by Division I schools, while Howard is a leader who had a great offseason.

Names: Yanni Demogerontas and Michael Howard

Age/year in school (incoming): Seniors

Hometown: Orland Park

Sport: Football

Position: Left tackle (Demogerontas); nose tackle (Howard)

How long have you played football? 9 years (Demogerontas); 11 years (Howard).

What do you love most about football?

Demogerontas: The Friday night atmosphere. It’s a great feeling with the band marching us out onto the field and seeing the stands filled with people cheering us on.

Howard: The feeling I get before every game. Walking out on the field with my teammates while the crowd is cheering and the lights are shining is unlike anything else.

What are your goals for the upcoming season? How will you achieve them?

Demogerontas: The ultimate goal is to win a state championship but we have to maintain focus throughout the season and take it one game at a time.

Howard: My only goal is to win a state championship. Anything less would be a disappointment. We can achieve this goal if everybody on the team believes that a state championship is possible and if we come out every week and play to our full potential.

How do you motivate yourself to train during the summer?

Demogerontas: The desire to play college football [is] what gets me up every day to work whether it’s in the gym or on the practice field with my teammates. 

Howard: I just think about how my competition isn’t taking a day off, so I know I can’t.

Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?

Demogerontas: Michael Jordan’s story about how he was cut from his high school basketball team. It shows that if you have great work ethic, [it] will take you far in life.

Howard: All of my coaches I’ve ever had in my life. They, along with my parents, have made me who I am today.