- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By: GREG HIGGINS
It’s hard to miss Austin Anthony when you watch a North Lamar football game. The 6’-7” Senior plays quarterback for the Panthers and usually stands head and shoulders above his competition.
Austin grew up in Paris and started playing football in the third grade. It didn’t take long, either, for him to find his football calling. In only his second game, Austin was moved to quarterback and he’s played that position ever since.
This is Anthony’s first year starting on varsity for Coach Felty and so far he’s been impressive. “He was backup quarterback last year, come in [this year] and has done a good job,” says Felty. “He runs the offense well.”
For a team that thrives on ball control and running the ball, Anthony has been pretty consistent in the passing game, averaging 66.5 yards per game so far. Take out the game against Canton, a game in which the whole team struggled offensively, and Austin has averaged right at 50 yards a game rushing as well. “He seldom makes mistakes twice,” Felty says. “Once he hears something, he remembers it. He’s done a solid job and I feel like he’ll get better every week.”
One of the things that helped Austin get better was the decision to run track for the Panthers in the spring of his Junior year. “He didn’t really want to run,” says Felty. “I told him it would help [his] football to get out there and run; it will strengthen [his] legs. It’s paid off for him.”
When asked about running track, Austin agreed with Felty’s sentiments. “This past spring I ran the 800,” Austin said in an interview with eParisExtra.com earlier this week. “I got a lot faster. My 40 time got a lot better.” So much better, as a matter of fact, that Anthony almost shaved half a second off his time from last year. He went from running a 5.2 40 yard dash to running a 4.8.
Of course, having a mobile quarterback such as Anthony gives the Panthers’ offense another option in the backfield besides Ian Dukleth and Chance Kelley. Austin’s ability to move and run allows Felty to design plays that will utilize his speed as well as his arm. This was evident last Friday, when Austin hooked up with Samaki Walker for a 40 yard pass play on the second play of the game. “I throw it up and he goes up and gets it,” Austin says when asked about Walker’s high-light catches.
Austin doesn’t only play football and run track. He’s also on the North Lamar varsity basketball team. Of course when you’re as tall as he is, it’s understood that you have to play basketball. Austin hopes to be able to play either basketball or football at the collegiate level. With a GPA around 3.7 he says he would like to study Business and US History.
When you play two sports, run track and work at keeping your grades up there isn’t a lot of free time. When he does have some free time, though, Anthony likes to hang out with his friends, most of them teammates of his. He also likes to hunt and fish.
Be sure to catch Austin Anthony and the North Lamar Panthers Friday for Homecoming as they take on Quinlan Ford at 7:30.