How could they leave this Chad hanging?
Aside from those dopes who refuse to use their turn signals, a Monday-morning quarterback has to be the most annoying person to run into.
Parked on bar stools and La-Z-Boys the world over, these geniuses know the exact point in the game where someone blew it, how he or she could have avoided the whole mess – albeit a day or two later.
They’re just so darn smart it makes me want to gag.
That said, what in the wide world of sports were the coaches of the Optimist All-Star Football game’s North team thinking last week when they chose to leave Bear River linebacker Chad Anderson off the squad?
If anyone deserved to be on that team, Anderson did.
The two-time All-Pioneer Valley League performer was the irresistible force on a Bruin defense which gave up a Sac-Joaquin Section-low 112 points in 2003 according to California preps specialty Web site MaxPreps.com.
The Bruins, who earned their first playoff berth since 1997 last fall, were also third in the section in points allowed per game at a scant 9.3.
Only perennial powers Central Catholic (Modesto) and Grant (Sacramento) gave up fewer points per contest this year at 8.9 and 9.0 respectively.
Anderson racked up a mind-boggling 195 tackles in 12 games – that’s 17.7 per outing for those math-challenged among us.
That’s also the most of any player in the state of California this year according to MaxPreps.com.
Garrett Schaad of tiny Maxwell High in the Northern Section and Burke Waudle of Yosemite High (Oakhurst) in the Central Section came close with 192 stops each.
Close, but no cigar.
The North team’s braintrust, venerable Foothill (Sacramento) head coach Frank Negri and his crew must have had very good reasons to ignore Anderson’s rather beefy stats.
As good as Anderson was this year, maybe there were better linebackers to choose from.
Here’s a look at some of the players listed on the North team’s roster at linebacker:
– Ken Stivers – Del Campo (Fair Oaks), RB/LB (5-11, 195) – Stivers, the Capital Athletic League’s top rusher with 1,156 total yards and 10 rushing touchdowns this year, made 30 tackles in 2003.
– Ken Ackerman – Mesa Verde (Citrus Heights), TE/LB (6-4, 230) – Thanks to his physical skills, Ackerman was head and shoulders above most of the competition in 2003.
He finished with 138 tackles over 10 games, but came up short in his head-to head showdown with Anderson in a key PVL game Oct 24.
Ackerman tallied four solo- and six assisted tackles. Anderson had six solos and was in on 11 more stops.
– Josh Zufelt – Foothill, LB/OL (5-11, 180) – Zufelt doesn’t cut the most intimidating figure on the turf, but his 20 sacks made him was among the top pass rushers around.
It’s up to you to decide if that prowess can make up for his 62 total tackles.
– Mike Lowney – Foothill, FB/LB (5-11, 185) – Another of the Mustangs mighty mites, Lowney earned his ticket to the show with the help of 143 tackles.
That’s 52 – count ’em – less than Anderson.
Maybe it was because they wanted to insure no one team was over-represented.
Bear River enjoyed a bumper crop of selections this year as quarterback Josh Rumsey, runningback/linebacker Cody Yeager and offensive/defensive lineman Matt Stuber each made the cut.
That’s three for the Bruins.
The section’s Division I champ Grant only had three make the team.
Fair is fair.
But wait, Woodland, which lost to Grant in the second round of the playoffs, has four.
Foothill, Negri’s team if you’ll remember, has five players on the squad.
I guess there’s no good reason.
Keith Jiron is a sports reporter for The Union. He can be reached at 477-4244 or via email at keithj@theunion.
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