Teammate recalls Andersen’s start at Ben Davis as Vinatieri approaches the Dane’s scoring record

High School Football
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Morten Andersen's first steps to NFL greatness started at Ben Davis, when the senior from Denmark with a soccer background showed up to football practice.

"Word had spread that there was a kid in town from far away who might be able to help the Ben Davis Giants High School football team at the placekicking position,” Andersen said in his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech last year.

“The whole team lined up on the sideline just to watch my tryout. The ball flew high and through those white things, and I looked over to my new teammates and I think they liked what they saw and suddenly I had 80 new friends, just like that, welcome to America," Andersen reflected.

One of those new friends was Giants quarterback Tim Wilbur, whose dad Bob was also the head coach.

"Well I was the kicker and he looked at me and said, ‘Son, you're out of a job,’” Tim recalled with a laugh. “That's how I met Morten.”

While kicking came naturally to Andersen, his introduction to football wasn't nearly as smooth as his left-footed field goals.

"His first kickoff, he kicked it, sitting there admiring it,” Tim explained. “You can guess what happened, someone came up and cleaned his clock, boom. So after that my dad said, ‘you kick the ball then run to the sidelines.’ That's how he learned football."

Last August, when Andersen's record-breaking kicking career earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame, his Ben Davis coach was there to share in the moment.

"Morten is such a great guy, he really took care of my dad at the Hall of Fame," Tim said.

Morten's greatest moment would also be a final thank you to his high school coach, who passed away just days later from liver cancer.

"When he saw my dad, he offered him his Hall of Fame jacket to put around my dad and that made my dad feel very good."

Now, as the Hall of Famer with a Ben Davis background braces for his record to fall thanks to Adam Vinatieri, Indy will always have a hand in helping him make history.

"Indy should be very proud,” Tim said. “We all know it's going to happen, but records are made to be broken."

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