Henry Fears and Tanner Anderson play multiple varsity sports

Kate Lawrence, Writer, Online Editor

They pull off their pads as they run from football to soccer practice; they run from field goals to halftime performances in marching band. They spend late nights practicing the different kinds of kicks and punts for two different sports: this all comes with playing two varsity sports while marching with the Cougar Pride..

Seniors Tanner Anderson and Henry Fears began their high school career kicking soccer balls. Now, in their senior year, both have begun kicking for the football team as well as playing on the varsity soccer team.  

“I was playing kickball in team games and Coach Vesta thought that I had a really powerful kick, so he asked me to kick for the football team,” Fears said.

Although Fears was approached recently, Vesta asked Anderson to kick for the team last year, but he declined at the time.

“I wasn’t really interested until this year came around because I really hadn’t thought of it or been fully interested until now,” Anderson said.“This year didn’t have a kicker and I decided not to last year because they already had Megan Nugent.”

After only a couple of 20-minute practices, the boys were walking onto the field to kick a football in front of the Friday night crowd.

“It took two or three practices for me to get used to kicking a football,” Fears said.  “Then he asked me to play in a game. My first game, I scored 5 points and, from there on, I kinda knew what I was doing. It was natural from there.”

The football coaching staff began searching for a kicker at the beginning of the year. They tend to look at soccer players because of their strong feet, Vesta said. Gaining not only one kicker but two was a big deal for the team.

“They provide depth at the kicker position, whether it’s kickoffs or punts. They gave us the option to go left or right, especially with injuries,” Vesta said.

Sometimes the hectic schedule of soccer interferes with football games forcing senior Triston McCreight to take over as the kicker.

Anderson and Fears began playing soccer together when they were in elementary school. They hope to continue playing at the collegiate level. Both boys put soccer before football, and everything else for that matter. Not only do the both of them balance getting from football practice to soccer practice on time, but also work to keep up with band. Both participate in marching band and symphonic band, while Fears is also in jazz band. When marching band performs at halftime for home football games, Anderson and Fears rush to join the band and  they march in their football uniforms.

“We have played soccer together forever it seems like,” Anderson said, “ I went to a different team during middle school but we ended up coming back together on the same team last year.”

The teammates have stood together in front of all different crowds, kicking goals for two sports and working together to balance the stress and fun of it all.

“There is a lot of pride when you perform in front of your peers,” Fears said. “Representing Northwest is one of the best honors I’ve had in my life. I’m going to miss the bond between everyone. We are all connected through our own ways and through our own events.”