The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

January 16, 2013

Anderson is the News Courier's Defensive Player of the Year

ATHENS — Opposing coaches’ offensive gameplans were simple when playing Athens this season: Find out where No. 5 is and run the other way. That would be Athens No. 5 Johnnie Anderson, who struck fear into opposing teams all season no matter where he lined up.

“We feel pretty confident in wherever we play Johnnie,” said Athens head coach Allen Creasy. “He is such a physical player, we weren’t hesitant about moving him around.”

Creasy moved Anderson around this season. From the secondary to linebacker to quarterback, the versatile junior helped his team any way he could. For his efforts on the field this season, Anderson is the News Courier’s Defensive Player of the Year for 2012. While Athens did not have the season it would have liked to, the defense was the strength of the team, led by Anderson.

“He is a quiet guy and he leads by example,” Creasy said. “Johnnie is a much better person than he is a football player. He makes everybody want to play better. He made plays in every big game that gave us a chance to be competitive and in a position to win games.”

The junior finished with 88 tackles, 8 tackles-for-loss, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three pass break-ups and a touchdown fumble recovery. Missing from that list?

Interceptions.

That’s because teams won’t throw the ball toward the ball-hawking safety.

“If there was one player from Athens I could go over and hand-pick, that would be the guy,” Pugh said. “Not only is he a good football player. Never saw him doing anything that’s not a class act. He loves the game and you can tell it. He’s a smart player. That’s one thing going into the Athens game, we always knew where Johnnie Anderson was. He’s that kind of player that is difference maker for them.”

Anderson began the season where he had the previous year — roaming the secondary for the Golden Eagles. The junior has been a mainstay for the Athens defense since stepping on campus his freshman year.

“There wasn’t any question,” Creasy said about playing him as a freshman. “He came in playing varsity from the day one. He has an instinct for game that you can’t coach.

“He sees the game, he sees the field, he has an understanding of how things are going to unfold. He has a knack for being around the ball”

As good as he was on defense, Anderson was needed on the other side of the ball to provide a spark for an offense that had sputtered through a tough stretch during the middle of the season.

“The first time I was moved to receiver, it was rough. I wasn’t used to getting so many plays,” Anderson said. “But towards the end, I got used to it. I like playing offense. I got the opportunity to put points on the board and help my team in any way I could.”

Following a 41-9 win over West Point, Athens was set to host No. 1 Hartselle in one of the most anticipated games of the season. Anderson had one of the best games of his career, playing receiver along with every snap on defense as Athens nearly pulled off the upset.

“I just wanted to do whatever I could to help,” Anderson said. “The whole offseason, that was the team I was waiting to play. I wish I could have done more to help us win.”

After scoring his first offensive touchdown of his career, Anderson became a part of the offensive gameplan for the rest of the season as a receiver. But the move to offense didn’t stop there. The hard-hitting safety was moved to quarterback following a loss to Cullman late in the season.

“It was closer to the end of that week (after the Cullman game) I was out there catching balls with receivers and coach Flippo came up to me and ask me if coach Creasy talked to me about playing quarterback,” Anderson said. “He told me to go warm up with quarterbacks.  They told me I wouldn’t do a whole lot of passing at first, just running the  ball.”

Anderson played quarterback for most of the game in a 17-0 win over Lawrence County that snapped a six game losing streak. The new signal caller followed that up with a 33-0 win over 6A Sparkman to close the season.

“It felt good, it was a little late though,” Anderson said. “I felt like we could have done that all season. It was good to get the seniors a win on the last game.”

Anderson said he hopes that momentum will carry into the offseason where he looks to be the unquestioned leader of the team in 2013.

“I want to lead the team,” said Anderson. “Lead the team the right way. Make it hard for people to stop us and go out there and win more games.”

1
Text Only
Local News 2
  • West Limestone’s Siniard picks Southern Miss

    Siniard committed to the Golden Eagles Saturday after visiting the campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound offensive and defensive tackle has started for the varsity since he was a freshman.

    July 30, 2014

  • tractor*pull!2!.jpg TRACTOR PULL: A new generation takes over in Tanner

    One of the first families of the Tanner pull is the Haneys. Horace Haney, along with brother, Shirley, co-founded the event in 1976 that draws thousands to the county each year. The sons of those pulling pioneers now run the show.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay! Haney!.jpg Clay Haney follows in father’s footsteps

    After watching his dad pull for the past 20 years, Clay finally got his chance. Although he has pulled multiple times over the years, this will be the first year to compete for points in the Mid-South Pullers Association.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • North win streak improves to 12

    The South last won 85-76 in in 2002.

    July 24, 2014

  • Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep

    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

  • Davidson helps North tie

    She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game

    Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
    Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

    Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.

    July 19, 2014

  • Chris Seibert -1996.jpg Before politics, Seibert played for the Tide

    A standout on West Limestone’s football team, Seibert’s road to Tuscaloosa wasn’t an easy one. Determined to play at the highest level, he attempted to join the Tide as a walk-on in fall 1993.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • State softball tournament begins in Athens today

    The three-day, double-elimination event begins at 6 tonight at the Athens Sportsplex.

    July 11, 2014

Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee