Anderson works hard, earns rookie role in Regina

Virden’s Zane Anderson is already contributing as a rookie for the Regina Thunder and the future is bright for the talented athlete.

The son of Shaun and Tina Anderson is playing multiple positions on offence for the gridiron squad in the Canadian Junior Football League’s Prairie Football Conference. After transferring to Brandon’s Vincent Massey High School in Grade 10, he did not play football until the next season. He was a defensive end for about half of that season before moving to running back where he developed into an all-star. Thunder running backs coach Brett Strong noted that Anderson is relatively new to the game and praised his strong work ethic.

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“He works hard everyday knowing he was behind when he arrived,” Strong said. “He puts in the extra effort to make sure he is ready to play at all times. As a young running back at an elite level of football, he shows no fear and runs the ball like a seasoned vet. He will be a very valuable player for us over the next five years.”

Anderson has already demonstrated his versatility. The 5-foot-11, 225-pounder is used both at tailback and fullback.

“He is a big bodied running back with great speed. He has the mindset and ability to not only play tailback for us, but also with his size he can be a very successful fullback. It’s not often we find players that can play both positions successfully. It takes a special player to be able to do this, and Zane is one of them for sure,” said Strong of Anderson, who also has learned the tight end spot and is on the depth chart for special teams.

A high school standout, Anderson now finds himself competing in a league in which he noted most of the players were also all-stars. However, Anderson emphasized:

“The difference between high school and Junior football first and foremost is the size. I was always one of the bigger kids and that’s definitely worked to my advantage as I’ve moved up to this level but even still, playing against 18-22 year-olds is way different than playing against 15-18 year-olds.”

Anderson, who is working at the Ranch Ehrlo Society, a non-profit providing various services to vulnerable individuals and families, has enjoyed the family atmosphere that is present on the Thunder.

“Moving to a new city and joining a new team, I was somewhat worried as far as what to expect and the way the whole team treated me and treats all of the members was a real relief to me because it was one less thing to worry about,” he said.

Speaking of family, Anderson praised his parents as being the biggest supporters in his life and football career.

“When I was deciding where to play this year, they wanted what was best for me and helped me make my decision to play for Regina,” he said. “They come out to home games and are always texting me and checking up on me and are always there to pick me up if I’m down.” 

© Virden Empire-Advance

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