The Greenport/Southold/Mattituck varsity football players are differentiated from the junior varsity players by the colors of their practice jerseys. While the varsity players wear gold, the JV players don purple — with one notable exception.
Ahkee Anderson wears purple.
Asked if that’s because he’s a quarterback and it’s a signal to teammates not to hit him, Anderson offered a simpler explanation: He likes the No. 30 on his purple practice jersey.
When uniform numbers are assigned, Anderson hopes to wear No. 2, the same number he carried last season, mostly for the JV team.
Anderson is a dual-threat quarterback. Whatever number he wears, he will undoubtedly be calling it sometimes. Not only can Anderson run the ball, but the sophomore will also be running Greenport’s new offense.
Did Anderson know he was going to be designated for the varsity team this year?
“I had no idea,” he said. “I was under the impression that I was playing JV.”
Anderson said when coach Jack Martilotta sat him down and told him he wanted him in the varsity backfield, “I was ready to go.”
Asked for his impressions of varsity football, Anderson said, “Everyone’s a lot bigger and it’s just like a faster pace in the game, but it’s not too much of a difference because I’ve been playing football for a while now.”
Anderson’s first taste of varsity action came last year when he entered the fourth quarter of a 40-0 blowout of Bishop McGann-Mercy. On his fourth play from scrimmage, he ran for a 5-yard touchdown. Later, he threw his first career pass for a 44-yard TD to Brandon Clark. Those were his only rushing and passing attempts from his only varsity action.
Sean Sepenoski handled most of the quarterbacking duties last season, but the senior has been moved to tight end and linebacker, opening the way for Anderson, who is listed at 5-foot-10, 130 pounds. “I might be small and everything,” he said, “but I feel like I’m big because I have all those people in front of me, so it will be a good season, I think.”
Martilotta had nothing but good things to say about Anderson’s transition to the varsity level.
“He’s an excellent athlete,” the coach said. “He’s got a great attitude. He’s very coachable. He’s also a leader. That was one of the things I was curious about because he is younger. He’s really taken to it and in the last couple of weeks we’ve really seen him growing.”
“The game is faster,” Martilotta continued. “For him to be able to pick things up and make reads, he was able to do it immediately, which really, I don’t want to say it surprised me, but I was impressed by it.”
Greenport is expected to throw the ball more under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Joshua Shields. “We feel we have a passing threat that we certainly have not had in the last few years,” said Martilotta.
That sounds like an attractive thing to a quarterback, but Anderson, who also plays cornerback, said he actually likes running the ball more than passing it.
Football Friday nights in Greenport are more than a game; they are events. Anderson said he likes the pregame hype and atmosphere that surrounds football.
How is he going to feel Friday night when steps on the field for the team’s opening game in Hampton Bays?
He said, “Oh, I know I’m going to be nervous.”
Photo caption: Greenport/Southold/Mattituck’s offense has been entrusted in the hands of sophomore Ahkee Anderson. (Credit: Bob Liepa)