Q&A with Anthony Underwood


By Dyana Ayala

The NWN had the chance to talk with the football team’s starting running back, senior  Anthony Underwood, about the season, the upcoming playoff game versus Palatine, and the expectations of his team and family.

NWN: How do you feel about going to playoffs?
Underwood: I feel very confident going into the playoffs. We worked extremely hard in the off season and in practice, and I have full trust in every last one of my teammates.

NWN: Does anything about this weekend’s playoff game?
Underwood: I have no worries about this game. My whole mentality is that we are going to match their intensity with ours.  With that, we’re going to advance to the next round.

NWN: What things have you done to prepare yourself for this weekend’s playoffs?
Underwood: To prepare for this weekend’s game, I’ve made practice 10 times harder and faster.  I wouldn’t want to over stress myself about the game because I want to be ready mentally and physically.

NWN: What have you guys as a team done to better prepare for yourselves?
Underwood: Mentally, we’ve been studying film, knowing each players’ number and how they play as an athlete. Physically, lifting harder in the weight room and conditioning in practice.

NWN: If you could replay any game this season which game would it be and why’?
Underwood: GBS and Evanston. These are the teams we came very close with, and I know if we had another chance to play them we would win. They were very beatable.

NWN: Which coach would you say has had a great influence on you?
Underwood: Coach Hokin and Coach Blair. I can say they were the only coaches who had patience with me and would take time out with me to try and fix things. They have helped me become a better running back, as far as taking hand-offs properly, footwork, and blocking techniques. I overcame my way of falling apart when things go bad on the field and taking that and using it as my motivation to do it better next time.

NWN: What are you best memories about this season?
Underwood: Beating Niles North.

NWN: How do you and the rest of your team get along ?
Underwood: We all get along very well on and off the field. Sometimes we will get together at someone’s house, watch football, talk about football, etc.

NWN: Is there anything you would change about it ?
Underwood: I would not change anything about me or my team. Being the way we are is what got us this far.

NWN: What influenced you to play football?
Underwood: All of my uncles and grandfather. But out of eight of my uncles, two have inspired me: Paris and Salim. My uncle Paris  has been to the pros and wants me to repeat his legacy. My grandfather has inspired to work my body, and he always tells me I need to play football and that he will do anything to make it happen.

NWN: Any advice you want to give to Niles West ?
Underwood: Self determination and motivation are something you have to master to be successful in life.