SMITHFIELD – It’s hard to find a bigger Aggie fan than Andy Pedersen. His dedication to Utah State University athletics and his distinct gameday wardrobe earned him the nickname “Captain Aggie” years ago. During games, he can usually found leading cheers among rowdy fans in the student section.
Day-to-day life has been a little more difficult for Pedersen the past few decades. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 25 years ago and hasn’t been able to do as much around his yard and house, but a lot of that work was taken care of Saturday morning when the USU football team showed up with Habitat For Humanity.
“They’re paying me back a little bit,” he said. “I’ve gone to all the games and cheered as hard as I can. They’re coming and taking care of some of the things I can’t do anymore.”
Head football coach Matt Wells had known for a while his team was going to give back to the community through Habitat For Humanity, but he didn’t know Pedersen would be the recipient until a few days before.
“It’s just a great opportunity for our young men and coaches,” he said. “We’ve been blessed with a lot. We’ve got great opportunities here to be student-athletes and be a coach at Utah State.”
Duane Smith, who is on the board of directors for the Cache Valley Habitat For Humanity, said USU is a big supporter of the organization. He said the football team was doing a little bit of everything at Pedersen’s house.
“You name it, they’re working on it,”he said. “They’re trimming trees, doing yard work, spring cleanup, painting the shed, painting the deck.”
Pedersen was especially pleased with work done inside his home.
“They redid our kitchen,” he said. “They’re taking care of our lawns, our flowerbeds, all kinds of things.”
In his younger years Pedersen went to school at USU. He estimated he has been to 1,400 to 1,500 different USU athletic events through the years.
“I go to all the games I can,” he said. “I go to all the girls’ games and the boys’ games. It’s something for me to do that I enjoy.”