MALTA — Andres Lopez certainly passes the eye test.
The Malta senior is a stout 5 feet, 11 inches and 200 pounds. He can run fast, throw long and jump far in track and field. And on the football field his combination of size, strength and speed are hard to stop.
But most importantly he’s addicted to winning.
“I’m really competitive. I hate losing,” Lopez said. “I’m one of those types of guys that gets mad if you lose a Monopoly game, so I just try to win everything I do.”
And he’s done a lot of winning as a senior. In the fall, he led Malta to the State B playoffs in football, where was named all-state as a running back and linebacker. In the winter, he won a divisional wrestling title and finished third at the State B tournament. So far this spring, Lopez has the top shot put mark in Class B at 45 feet, 11 inches — a full two feet better than his previous personal record.
Lopez is still short of the State B qualifying mark of 46-10, but he’s certain he’ll get there before May.
“Definitely. I’ve gotten a lot better,” he said. “I’ve been practicing my hardest. Practicing my technique a lot. I’m thinking in three weeks hopefully I can qualify.”
And though shot put is his strongest event, Lopez does a little bit of everything well. He competes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, javelin and discus. On the football field, he plays all over.
It’s the versatility that earned him a scholarship to Dickinson State, where Lopez will compete for time at running back and wide receiver for the Blue Hawks this fall.
“My sister went to college there and I’ve always liked their football program,” Lopez said. “The official visit was nice. Their football field is amazing. I like their locker room. I ate with some of my new teammates. They seem pretty cool. Practice seemed fun. I’m excited to see them in the future.”
His future is bright, but it’s the present that concerns him the most. Lopez still has big plans for his last few weeks as a Malta Mustang.
“I want to try to be a state champion in shot,” he said. “I want to place in everything else I do. The 100, 200, javelin and discus.”
Before enrolling at Dickinson State, Lopez will have a busy summer ahead competing in several all-star football games, including the 73rd annual Montana East-West Shrine Game set for July 20 in Butte. His brother Antonio played in the 2017 game, also in Butte.