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Anderson Signs With McKendree Football

Triad senior Evan Anderson recently signed a national letter of intent to attend McKendree University and play football for the Bearcats. Seated with Evan are his parents, Tammy and Scott Anderson. Standing is Triad Head Football Coach Paul Bassler. Photo by J.W. Campbell

By J.W. Campbell, Sportswriter

Evan Anderson, a three-year member of the Triad varsity football team, will take his gridiron skills to McKendree University beginning in the 2019-2020 academic school year after recently signing a national letter of intent to attend the Lebanon-based school and play football for the Bearcats.

The senior offensive lineman said he also considered pursuing an athletic scholarship for baseball, but said the football offers were more numerous and more attractive.

“I went with McKendree because it’s close to home and my parents and I are kind of close,” Anderson said. “Missouri Valley College, Illinois College, Monmouth College and Knox College were also interested in me, but I went with the DII school (McKendree) over the DIII schools. Of course, McKendree was also closer than any of the others.”

Anderson said he plans on studying elementary education in college.

“I think I’d like to work with fourth or fifth graders, because it’s a good age for them to listen better and pay more attention,” Anderson said. “I feel I can make a difference with kids that age.”

“Evan has been golden for us,” Triad Coach Paul Bassler said. “It’s been fun watching him grow up from a tall, skinny sophomore to what he is now. He plays multiple sports, so it was hard for him to gain weight, but recently he’s gained about 30 pounds. He told me that he wished he was the weight he is now during the football season.

“I believe his better playing days are ahead of him. He’s got the frame already, and you can’t coach frame. He’s also smart. He’s got all the attributes to be successful at the college level. I’m excited that he’s going to McKendree. He’s close so I’ll have a chance to watch him play without having to drive four hours. There are also some other Triad kids, Cody Qualls and John McKinney, who are at McKendree, so I’ll have a number of kids that I can watch there.

“I think McKendree is a good choice for Evan. I think the McKendree program is on the upswing. Coach (Mike) Babcock does a good job there. He comes from a program at UCLA in the Pack 10 where the expectations are always really high. I think he’s trying to do the same thing at McKendree. Obviously it’s on a smaller scale, but I think there making great strides. The better they get, the more kids will want to come. I also think that McKendree as a whole is more attractive to kids because they’ve built more dorms and college apartments. I’m excited for Evan.”

“Evan is a smart lineman,” McKendree Coach Mike Babcock said. “He is tough and physical and has a lot of potential.”

The 6-4, 220-pound offensive tackle was a second-team, All-Mississippi Valley Conference choice for the 2018 season.

In addition to football, Anderson plays baseball at Triad. As a junior, he hit .278 with four RBIs and a home run in limited playing time.

Evan is the son of Scott and Tammy Anderson.

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