WARSAW – At some point three years ago, a freshman Harrison Mevis had to wonder what it was like to be his brother. Life for Harrison is coming full circle.
Harrison watched his brother, Andrew Mevis, accept an invitation as a kicker to compete in the 2016 Under Armour All-American football game in front of his teammates and a host of community members in the Warsaw Community High School Performing Arts Center. Three years later, Harrison got his chance to stand on the same proverbial stage and be recognized as one of the top kickers in the country.
“It’s pretty different, honestly,” stated Harrison about watching Andrew’s ceremony in 2016 down the hall at WCHS. “I was pretty proud of where he was at as a kicker and what he had accomplished. It was just so cool to see where he went with it. He was an All-American and so I’m following in his footsteps. But I wouldn’t be here without him. I have to give a lot of the credit to him.”
The ceremony Thursday morning at the Tiger Den at Warsaw Community High School in front of the entire WCHS student body, staff and a host of media outlets allowed Mevis to be recognized as the No. 2-rated kicker in the country and accept his Under Armour All-American jersey. Mevis, who was introduced informally to the student body by athletic director Matt Binkerd, was accompanied to the Tiger Den floor by over a dozen of his football teammates, the prized sectional trophy, and a host of Warsaw football coaches.
“It means a lot, I wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” Mevis said about being recognized in front of the entire school. “It’s a big honor, but the work is just starting. This is the bar for high school, but there is a whole another level to it. It’s awesome to see where I am at, and to see where I’ve gone with it. But the work is just starting, so we’ll see.”
Harrison, who is committed to kick at the University of Missouri next fall, is the only player from Indiana to make the 2020 game roster. Joshua Karty of Burlington, NC, a Stanford commit, is the only other kicker listed. Karty is the top-ranked kicker in the country.
Mevis hasn’t slowed down from the pace he set heading into this season. As a senior for the Tigers, Mevis is 50-50 in extra points and 6-10 in field goals, including a game-winning 51-yarder at Michigan City in week two. In what many high school fans overlook, Mevis also has sent 51 of 62 kickoffs (82 percent) into the end zone. In three years of varsity kicking, Mevis is 104-107 in extra points and 16-28 in field goal attempts along with sending 73 percent of his kick-offs into the end zone.
Warsaw has also enjoyed a 33.1 average on Mevis punts this year, to which Mevis was ranked as a top-10 punter nationally when the season began.
With names like Harrison Mevis, Andrew Mevis, Caleb Klusman and Jake Rodgers in recent Tiger kicking history, the school has created quite a pedigree of sending the pigskin high and far.
“This young man has a full ride SEC offer and you would never know it by being around him every day,” said Warsaw football assistant coach Cole Richards, who coached both Mevis brothers. “He’s humble to a fault, he’s caring. He comes from a great family. It starts at home. Harrison is hard working and he’s not looking for accolades. He’s just out here trying to help the team win. He’s as special as a young man as anything he has ever done on the football field.”
As Harrison was scurried off into the hall to do media immediately after earning his jersey in front of the student body, parents Tracy and Tina Mevis also followed. Having done this before with Andrew and then following him to Fordham University, where he is currently priming for a legitimate shot at a professional tryout, Tina could only sit back and smile. As Harrison stood with his hands folded as the TV cameras rolled, Tina was off in the corner. It’s another success story for the proud mama.
“It is unreal. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap your brain around it,” started Tina Mevis. “Considering I always said they were never going to play football. And then someone said hey, Andrew, why don’t you go kick a football. I said ‘OK’. Turns out he was pretty good at it. Harrison gave it a try, he was good at it. And not just for football’s sake, but it’s getting them both into good schools. But, yeah, five years ago, if this would have been happening in our lives I would have said ‘no way.’ I didn’t think this would ever happen.”
The Under Armour All-American game will be played Jan. 2 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The game, which features the top incoming college talent in the country, has seen the likes of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons, AJ Green of the Cincinnati Bengals, Jamies Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans among hundreds of other NFL players take part.