AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -Canyon’s strong start to the season has led to a lot of hype surrounding Lawton Rikel and their explosive offense that takes the field every Friday night, but a new force on the defensive side of the ball is switching things and has the whole team talking.
Our new defensive coordinator Coach Anderson is amazing." said head coach Blake Bryant. “The energy that he brings, and the kids love him and love playing for him.”
“The new defensive coordinator, Coach Anderson, he’s a spitfire. He brings a lot of energy and a lot of encouragement to the field and this new defense it’s a little different for us but we’re starting to get the hang of it pretty well I think.”, said senior Cade Olsen.
Jedrek Anderson is the new DC and is switching up Canyon’s defensive scheme for the first time in Coach Bryant’s 19 seasons as head coach. Moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 was the obvious choice based on the character and tenacity of the athletes at Canyon.
“With linebackers you want guys that are tenacious, guys that are gonna go fight, may not be the biggest guys or the fastest guys but we want guys that are gonna go do their job every single day and really work hard for you and when they arrive at the ball they’re usually mad and those are the type of guys we’re looking for.”, said Coach Anderson.
Anderson is known for his ability to hype his players up, something that’s crucial on the defensive side of the ball.
One of the big things on defense and I think any defensive coach will tell you this is you gotta get kids excited to play defense and be able to go run through this offensive line that’s 260 pounds."said Coach Anderson. “You got to get kids to buy into that and one of the ways to do that is to show them that you’re passionate about it.”
Coach Anderson’s players have noticed and a few words come to mind when they think of their coach.
“Enthusiastic. Spontaneous. Competitive, very competitive. Fireball.”, said a few Eagle’s players.
This fiery spirit led the team down the path to a new tradition: money downs.
“Last year kind of looking back and breaking down last year, we didn’t do a good enough job on third down.”, said Coach Anderson. “So Coach Bryant came to us and said we need to get better on third down. Us, the coordinators and Coach Bryant kind of came up with money down.”
When the hands go up, so does the motivation to get the defense off the field. They even have the Eagles band playing the “money, money, money” song on third down during the game and the players have bought into it.
“I listen for it whenever I’m out there, on third down were all doing our money signs, waiting for the song and it’s a pretty cool deal and its a lot of fun.”, said Olson.
A new scheme and new traditions- its just the beginning for the defense at Canyon. As for Anderson,he’s happy to be somewhere that challenges him with the expectations of the school and the community.
“You get a lot on your plate. You’re expected to win, so yeah there’s pressure here and that’s good and everybody here whether it’s the kids or the coaches or the administration, you’re expected to be successful and with that it pushes you to be a better person, to be a better coach, and to really work your tail off for it.", said Coach Anderson.
The Canyon Eagles are undefeated in their first year back in Conference 4A and look to keep their win streak alive this week against the Borger Bulldogs.