Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Class of 2011 | Nature Coast Technical High School

Friend's sudden death helps Nature Coast Tech's Andrew Lund reach individual, team goals

Andrew Lund, a member of Nature Coast Technical High school’s academic and tennis teams,  is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., later this month. He’ll join his fellow graduates tonight in Spring Hill.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Andrew Lund, a member of Nature Coast Technical High school’s academic and tennis teams, is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., later this month. He’ll join his fellow graduates tonight in Spring Hill.

SPRING HILL — Andrew Lund was at home that July day when he got the call from a teammate.

Simon Toftegaard, a rising star on Nature Coast Technical High School's tennis team and Lund's friend since the seventh grade, had been hit by a car and killed while bicycling in Denmark during a family vacation.

"It just made me really think about how easy it is to lose someone," Lund recalled last week. He and Toftegaard, a jovial, blond teen who would have played as the top seed, were headed into their junior year.

Toftegaard's teammates vowed to make it to the state championship in his honor. It took two years, but they made it, wearing their friend's number 17 on their sleeve.

"We became 10 times closer because of that experience," Lund said. "Now we know we can count on each other."

About the same time, Lund started working toward a personal goal: get accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy. Already planning to go for a service academy and thinking about the Navy, he'd visited the academy's historic campus in Annapolis, Md., during a tennis camp that summer. That solidified it, he said.

This month, he'll trade his civilian clothes for dress whites and sacrifice his brown hair and a traditional college experience for school and country. He knows it will be difficult, a regimented existence for eight years — four of free schooling in exchange for four of mandatory service — that might make many college-bound students shudder.

But Lund, the son of a Navy veteran who now works for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, knows about service and discipline. He's thinking about making a career out of the military.

"It just feels right," he said.

Born and raised in Spring Hill, Lund joined the Cub Scouts in the first grade. The oldest of two siblings, he would go on become an Eagle Scout, sweating as he laid brick pavers and built benches and planter boxes at Notre Dame Catholic School for his Eagle Scout service project.

He started playing tennis in middle school, drawn to the individual challenge of singles play, the combined effort of doubles, and the camaraderie of the team.

He played on a U.S. Tennis Association junior team, too. That team earned a spot in the quarterfinals slated for the end of the month, but Lund will be in Annapolis, Md., by then and won't get to play.

Zoned for Springstead High, Lund chose Nature Coast for its health science program. He completed the coursework and found the material interesting, but realized he didn't want to be a doctor.

Lund served on the Nature Coast academic team and excelled in the classroom, achieving a rank of 19th out of 322 graduating seniors.

But it was his demeanor that struck people: quiet, humble, and helpful.

Kandyce Callaghan is a teacher in the health science program. Lund was in Callaghan's class for the first three years, and she recalled the tenderness he showed after she lost three close family members in a matter of months.

"He was the kid who said, 'Can I do anything for you? Are you okay?' " Callaghan said. "He was like that with the other students, too. You know, like a Boy Scout."

As a freshman and sophomore, Lund hardly talked in practice, recalls tennis coach Tom Brown. That changed after Toftegaard's death, he said.

"That seemed to really pull him out of his shell and he became a real leader for our team at that point," Brown said.

"He was a fun guy to be around, always trying to make the best out of a situation," Lund said of Toftegaard, "so we tried to keep up that spirit."

After a growth spurt in high school, Lund used his lanky, 6-foot-1-inch frame to create a defensive wall that wore down opponents. He is a two-time district and regional champion, logging 77 total victories in singles and doubles in high school — just five wins shy of the all-time record, Brown said.

To earn a walk-on spot at the Naval Academy, an NCAA Division I school, Lund will have to play in a tournament, then beat the lowest-seeded player on the team.

Lund is already in exclusive company. The acceptance rate at the Naval Academy was 10 percent in 2009, one of the lowest in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

"He was determined once he made up his mind that's what he was fighting for," said his father, Kenneth Lund, who served on a Navy submarine before joining the Hernando Sheriff's Office more than two decades ago.

Then-U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite nominated Lund for a post at the Naval Academy. He passed a grueling, timed fitness test.

He has remained humble, mother Karen said.

"If he had his way, he would just go off to the academy and no one would know," she said.

Tyler Schwefringhaus, a teammate and close friend, was surprised when Lund said he was gunning for the Naval Academy. Schwefringhaus had hoped the two would wind up together at the University of Florida.

"I still tell him he's not going to have a life," Schwefringhaus said, chuckling. "But it's good for him because he's very strict and focused, so he'll do fine."

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or tmarrero@sptimes.com.

>>IF YOU GO

Graduation

Commencement will begin at 7:30 tonight at the school stadium.

CLASS OF 2011's TOP GRADS

Nature Coast Technical High School

Valedictorian: Brooke Kahn

Parents: Angela and Mike Vanderputten, and Carl Kahn

GPA: 4.5

College: Florida State University

Field of study: Biochemistry


Salutatorian: Maggie LeDoux

Parents: Mary and Lance LeDoux

GPA: 4.43

College: University of North Florida

Field of Study: Exercise science


Rest of the Best

3. Tessa Bernard

4. Maibel Reyes

5. Shelby Santos

6. Lauren Wood

7. Christina Armbruster

8. Daniela Serrichio

9. Steven Koster

10. Shannon Lucey


A complete list of all Nature Coast Technical High School graduating seniors will appear June 9.

Friend's sudden death helps Nature Coast Tech's Andrew Lund reach individual, team goals 05/31/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  2. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"

    Blogs

    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  3. FWC: Fish away for invasive lionfish

    Water

    Times staff

    What could be better than fishing and helping save the Gulf of Mexico?

    Add prizes.

    Lionfish, originally from the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, are an invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico. [LARA CERRI  |  Times]
  4. Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

    The Heater

    Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is one of 16 players to record at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'

    Blogs

    If anyone thinks Ronde Barber was throwing shade at Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, think again.

    "That anyone would assume I would say the best player on the defense isn’t a bad dude is irresponsible and sensationalizing a quote to serve their own means,'' Ronde Barber said.