All Lucas Anderson was hoping for when he moved to Midlothian was a chance to compete for some playing time his senior season. Anderson figured he would work hard in the spring and possibly impress a Panther coach or two enough to land some time on the field.
Some time has quickly become all the time.
Anderson, a transfer from Grapevine Faith Christian, has quickly caught the favor of Midlothian coaches with his work ethic and natural skills as a receiver. All he wanted was a chance and he’s making the most of it.
“The coaches have let me come in and they’ve given me a little tryout. They’ve given me a couple months to just run my routes, learn the offense, learn what to do, learn the system,” Anderson said. “It’s just great coaching, great guys. My teammates are just showing me what to do. If I mess up, they’ll get on my tail.”
A rising senior, Anderson moved from the Grapevine area for a change in academics. Last fall, he was a key player for the Lions specifically in the running game. Anderson carried the ball 20 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He did not register a catch last season.
With the move to Midlothian came a move to a new position. Of the 11 players who caught a pass for the Panthers last fall, seven graduated, one did not return to the team and another was Bryce Murphy, now the team’s starting quarterback. Running back Justin Seeton is injured leaving Kalen Semper as the only player healthy enough to take part in spring practice who recorded a catch last season.
That has opened the door for plenty of prospects to step up and fill in those holes, Anderson included.
“He had an opportunity to improve himself and he continues to do that on a daily basis. He really competes and his goal is to be the best of that group. That’s going to be tough to do because it is a really, really good group but he’s well on his way,” coach Lee Wiginton said. “He comes out every day with a mindset to out-work everybody and he’s going to improve his skills on his route running, his ball catching and he really seems do that. He just takes advantage of his opportunities.”
Anderson isn’t alone in his quest to top the receiver portion of the depth chart. Wiginton called the unit the “biggest surprise of the spring” and “the overall strongest position” as of right now. He talked about the depth this year’s group has opposed to last season and feels comfortable with anyone in the rotation to step up and make the play when called on.
Wiginton believes there are about six to eight players in the mix for the starting slots on offense. Anderson is without question in that group.
While he may be the fresh face in town, the soon-to-be senior wasted no time in establishing a connection with his new teammates. The chemistry that has already developed is making the receiving unit strong even before the first snap of the regular season.
Anderson just wants to play his role and make plays when he’s called on. When opportunity knocks, he’ll answer.
“We’ve got a great offense. Bryce has a good arm and knows where to put the ball,” Anderson said. “I’m just going to catch balls and run my routes. That’s all I can do.”
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