Chance Anderson’s pleasant demeanor and friendly face can lead to false impressions. Make no mistake, when he is on the football field, Anderson is a bruising hitter, not hesitant at all about lowering his shoulder into an opponent.
That hard-nosed playing style is what earned Anderson the nickname “Rhino.”
When playing for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck, the Mattituck High School senior isn’t afraid to “bring it,” as they say.
“I got to tell you, that guy is a bruiser,” coach Jack Martilotta said. “He’ll wake some kids up.”
Following the Porters’ 34-14 loss at Mount Sinai on Oct. 15, Martilotta said Anderson “hits like a tank. He woke up No. 12 [Mount Sinai’s Richard Harris] a couple of times. He’s faster than you think, as well.”
Anderson, a quiet sort, is not the type of player who generates a great deal of publicity. He usually plays fullback and middle linebacker. Because of the unavailability of Liam McShane and Kyle Schultz, though, Anderson was moved to defensive end last week.
“I’m not the person you hear about all the time,” he said, “but when it’s time to step up, I step up to the plate and try to help the team as much as I can.”
As a fullback, Anderson’s blocking ability comes in handy (he has carried the ball only once this season). Defensively, he is one of the team’s leading tacklers with 15 solo tackles and three assists. He has one sack and three tackles for losses.
Anderson plays the role of the unsung hero, doing his job with little fanfare.
“I respect that a lot from him,” teammate Jordan Fonseca said. “He’s stepped up big time.”
A four-year varsity player, Anderson recalls the last time for Greenport reached the playoffs and lost to Mount Sinai on a cold Saturday afternoon.
“Nothing was better than when we went to the playoffs when I was a freshman,” he said.
Greenport (3-4 in Suffolk County Division IV) needed to win its final two regular-season game in order to reach the postseason, but fell on Friday night to Port Jefferson.
Photo caption: Greenport/Southold/Mattituck’s Chance Anderson takes down Center Moriches quarterback Sam Cila in a game this season. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)