John Aversa is one of the main reasons the St. Joseph Indians will play for State on Saturday in Indy.
With Fort Wayne Concordia up 10-7 and driving in the 2nd half of last Friday's Semi-State, Aversa intercepted a pass.
The Indians would score on the ensuing drive and never look back, winning the Semi-State and advancing to the Dome for the first time since 1995.
But Aversa is even more impressive in the classroom. He is ranked number one in the senior class.
We caught up with John this week during his first period class at St. Joseph's High School.
It may have been 8:30 in the morning and he may have just finished an hour-plus of weightlifting, but Aversa was on top of his game in biology class.
It made sense; it is the field he plans on studying.
"Since I want to become a doctor, I know this is a really important class," Aversa says just after first period ends.
"I enjoy it too, and it's not burden at all. I can learn a lot about the world around me just from this class and that can help me in my career in the future."
"He's always probing for deeper meaning," said biology teacher and assistant football coach Paul Carrier.
Carrier says Aversa is certainly one of his favorite students.
"He's always trying to find out more. Every day he's a vibrant member of the classroom, always going."
Aversa's drive is what makes him successful. According to his head coach, Kevin Downey, Aversa is the hardest player on the team.
It is a major reason why the defensive lineman went from a JV player a year ago to a starter this season.
Downey could not be happier for Aversa's success.
Aversa is now seeing the benefits of all that hard work.
"This would just be an awesome way to finish up what is probably my career," Aversa said. "I just think if we all put it together, it would be a very fitting ending to a great ride and the great time I've had here at St. Joe."
John Aversa is number one in his class, and he is hoping his team will be number one in Class 3A come Saturday.