He is Simply OutstANDING

By On October 28, 2011

Burroughs Senior Running Back Goes For History Tonight Against Muir

By Tom Crowther
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

It seems almost certain that Indians’  running back Zander Anding will make local history tonight, the only suspense  remaining appears to be on what level.

Burroughs Football

Zander Anding

With 118 yards against the Muir Mustangs tonight,  Anding will record the all-time single season rushing record in the Burroughs  football program’s storied history. With a fifth-straight 300+ yard evening, he  would move into the very elite company of only one other and on a much bigger  stage. Anding would join former Ventura High star Tyler Ebell as the only high  school player in state’s history to reach the 300-yard plateau in five  consecutive games.

“The name Tyler Ebell has come-up a lot this week,”  head coach Keith Knoop admits, “But I am sure Muir will have something to say  about that.”
It is almost certain that Knoop had to explain to  Burroughs players this week who Ebell was, but the local media that has stormed  Anding and the Indians’ campus of late knows the name well. Ebell rushed for 300  or more yards ten times his senior season at Ventura en route to over 7,000  yards in a career that sent him onto UCLA and beyond. To be mentioned in the  same breath is to have already accomplished much this season.

To his credit, Anding continues to say and do all the  right things. He is quick to give credit where equal credit is due — deflecting  much of the attention to the Burroughs offensive line and coaching staff after  each outing. Among the many he says deserves credit is an all senior line of Gus  Ferrat, Forrest Stevens, Daniel Marbach, Paul Martinez and Thomas Liro.

“Those guys open some amazing holes for me to run  through,” Anding says.”We wouldn’t be having talk about records and we wouldn’t  be winning all these (league) games without them.”

In addition, Anding credits Knoop, offensive line  coach, Mike Reily, and running backs coach, Earl Hollingshed as well — all  teachers and long time coaches at the school.

“All of them,” Anding says. “Shed and I are especially  close, but all of them do such a good job of preparing us for games that things  slow down and come pretty easy come kick off.”

Anding also says he is helped by a very supportive  mother and his grandparents. In the case of the latter, they make the trip from  Lancaster each game day in order to see him play. He is also motivated by trying  to show his younger brother, Aiden, how to get it done. Aiden is a JBHS  freshman.

Anding believes dedication from a group of mostly  seniors has made the big difference for the Burroughs team as a whole this  season.
“A lot of seniors who have known each other a long  time,” he says. “I’ve known Gus (Ferrat) since the first grade.”

No one panicked when the Indians started 0-3 having  faced three former Foothill League foes in nonleague play. The line was gelling  and he was racking-up yards and they knew that things would change once Pacific  League play began. When the Indians scored almost 50 points and Anding put-up a  school record single-game mark of 326 yards in the league opener against  Pasadena, all was right in Indian Country.

Last week, Anding had 364 yards in a tough battle with  Crescenta Valley, now only the second best school total to the 393 yards he  racked-up against Glendale on October 10, a game in which he did not carry the  ball in the fourth quarter.

The biggest league win came at Arcadia High, where  Anding had 319 yards. Arcadia and Burroughs shared the league crown last season.

His 1883 yards on only 154 carries is good enough for a  12.2 yard-per-carry clip and put him within striking distance of the single  season mark of 2001 yards set by Dominic Barnes in 2008. But where Barnes  churned out yards with a basic North-South style that makes for a great high  school player, Anding has the speed, athleticism and strength that draws the  attention of college coaches.

“The attention is flattering and a lot to get use to,”  Anding admits, “But honestly the only thing I know right now is that I wanted to  have a memorable senior year and help my team when a league title. I also know  that I want to play college ball next season and I just want the right  opportunity to do it.”

When asked what pro player he would compare his style  to, Knoop replied, “OJ Simpson,” not only because of his style of running but  because of his ability to see lanes as they open.  This is appropriate since  Knoop’s squad has been the equivalent to USC’s mantra of “Tailback U” during his  15-year tenure as head coach.

“We have had a lot of 1,000 yard guys,” he  acknowledges, “But Zander is pretty special.”

Knoop says he first saw the light go on for Anding when  he had a chance to play varsity last season as a junior.

“The kid is incredibly athletic, but he also had so  many outside interests that were distractions like bikes, skateboards, girls…  I am not sure he started a game on JV because he missed a lot of practices and  stuff, but that is not the case anymore,” says Knoop. “He now sets the tone on  the field at practice and in the weight room, he is 100% all-in.”

Last season as a junior, Anding racked-up a total of 11  touchdowns and 659 yards rushing in limited action. Not bad considering he was  plagued by injuries that included a broken pinkie and a broken hand and he was  sharing time with older players.

Heading into tonight’s game versus Muir, he has 2, 542  career rushing yards and is about 1,000 yards off of the school’s all-time  career mark. Though the Mustangs pose a huge challenge, with softer defenses in  Hoover and Burbank left on the schedule before the CIF Southern Section  playoffs, Thomas Kyle’s career mark is indeed obtainable. Not too shabby for a  student-athlete few off the Burroughs campus knew of before the season. Anding  takes it in stride and keeps the conversation mostly on teammates and tonight’s  game.

“Muir is so athletic and so fast, they will be a real  challenge,” he says. “I know the line will be there tonight, I just have to find  the hole and run through it.”

Like every opponent the Indians have faced this season,  the Mustangs will place eight or nine in the box and pull out all the tricks in  an effort to stop Anding. Like every opponent so far, they will likely find it  easier said than done.