A teenager showing the wisdom of a mature adult, Dalton Anderson is going to play football with the Kamloops Broncos on his mother’s orders.
The powerful tri-sport star with the Fulton Maroons will join his older brother Paul, a 285-pound offensive lineman and centre, with the B.C. Football Conference franchise this summer.
“With my brother playing there, mom kind of wanted it last year so we kind of wanted to play our last year together and then after that, I’m probably not going to play football anymore,” said Dalton, a 6-foot-2, 225-pounder.
“I’m just making her happy by getting together with my brother. It’s one of my favourite sports but I’d rather pursue rugby. It’s getting to be my favourite sport now.”
Anderson, 18, is slated to see action at runningback, kick return and punting. He added: “And if they need me on defence, I’ll go play defence.”
Fulton head coach Mike Scheller, who used Anderson as a starting defensive tackle and fullback in Grade 9, and coached him for two years in rugby, isn’t surprised at Anderson’s willingness to do anything for the team.
“He’s a great kid and he’s the kind of kid who wants to please his coach,” said Scheller. “He’s very strong and he’s capable of making some fantastic plays. Of the three sports he plays, rugby is probably his best. He could go live the good life in a clubhouse in New Zealand for a few years.”
Anderson dominated as a fullback/linebacker with Fulton last senior AA season. He knows new Bronco head coach Duncan Olthuis, and he signed with Kamloops after talking with Salmon Arm-based scout Brad Yamoaka, a retired CFLer.
The Broncos, who won a record three games last year, have won eight of 40 games in their four-year existence. Anderson likes the returnees and is excited to be part of a young bunch.
“It’s a fun league. My first year, it’s going to be a lot of pressure, especially since I might be getting a starting position. We don’t know yet. We’ll see what happens.”
A longtime fan of the Tennessee Titans, Anderson, who also started in high school basketball, shows excellent vision in football.
“Running is one of my strengths. Holding on to the ball, I’ve got a little bit looser. I fumbled quite a bit. My biggest strength would probably be seeing the field, seeing what happens when I have the ball in my hand.”
As for rugby, where Anderson is currently leading Fulton in the provincial playoffs, he has a game-plan which involves travelling abroad.
“I’m hoping to go to England. I’ve had opportunities to get looked at there so we’ll see what happens with that. Hopefully that turns out. I’d like to play for their national team one day.”
Anderson is trying to get into the culinary arts program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with an eye on becoming a chef and owning a restaurant.
Dino Bernardo, Broncos’ president and GM, said the club has had Dalton on their radar since Paul joined the junior A team last year from the Chilliwack Huskers.
“It’s an interesting dynamic because it’s Paul’s last year with the Broncos and Dalton’s first year,” said Bernardo. “He’s (Dalton) a great kid. He’s one of those kids that works hard, listens well and gives 100 per cent at all times and he is very versatile.”
Bernardo is impressed with Anderson’s ability to play multiple sports at a high level.
“It shows you the dedication that the kid has.He’s playing three different sports so that shows you that he’s got dedication to his craft. He’s got a willingness to play those rough and tumble sports.”