COVID-19 has touched so many lives. It seems to circle closer and closer to people we know. It’s taken the lives of community members and Tuesday morning, it took the life of our coworker Andrew “Andy” Luberda.
Andy was our sports writer and in the six years he worked for Copper Area News, he became so much more – a friend and brother.
Sports writing was Andy’s calling and his joy was celebrating the accomplishments of our young athletes. He wrote about high school sports, at one time covering all the high schools in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek area as well as all the schools in the Copper Corridor.
He loved telling the positive stories about games and the kids playing them. His goal was to mention as many athletes by name as he could, always in a positive light.
He covered college signings, interviewing the students, their coaches and parents to tell the story of how that student went from playing Little League Softball to signing with a community college or university.
He celebrated when teams won games and championships and commiserated when they lost.
Andy had a gift for connecting with students and loved every aspect of the sports he covered, something that showed in the quality of his writing and enthusiasm he had for all the local teams. Superior, Ray, Hayden or San Manuel – they all counted him as their biggest fan.
Ryan Palmer, head football coach for Superior High School and good friend of Andy’s, told Copper Area News, “He was a good man and friend. He not only promoted the students of Superior, but also the entire community. He went above and beyond, creating meaningful relationships with students and coaches. He is gone too soon, and will be missed by many.”
Andy leaves behind his wife, Kelli, and son, Kade.
We’re going to miss you, Andy. Rest in peace, brother.