Temple City senior Tim Sanderson didn’t have the best of starts to the Rams’ fall camp opener this week. Sanderson, a punishing linebacker expected to solidify the secondary, pulled a muscle during weightlifting on Monday, and as a result was limited to practice because of continuing back spasms. He saw a therapist early Tuesday morning before the start of practice, but so far there still are lingering effects. Sanderson said he hopes he’s given the green light come Saturday, that’s when Temple City distributes pads, throws them on and give themselves a true gauge of where they stand a week into fall camp.
Of course, you knew all this if you picked up the newspaper today. What didn’t make the paper was our conversation afterward. This year, on the blog, I hope to bring you entries in story format, stories that I’ll reserve exclusively for the blog. It’s my attempt to provide exclusive content for print and exclusive content for the blog. Remember the Nick Bueno and Derrick Johnson story posted on the blog below? Notice it didn’t make the paper? Well, that was by design. In short, I hope to provide you with more in-depth stories to go along with tidbits and banter subjects.
And now, Sanderson …
It was one of the first times I got a chance to speak with Sanderson. The 6-foot-4 senior made a name for himself as a bruising linebacker last season when he made 112 tackles. It’s because he was such an integral part of the Rams’ success that frustrated Sanderson sitting practice.
After we talked about the injury, we touched on some subjects, like playing for a third coach in three years. Sanderson played for Randy Backus, Anthony White and now Mike McFarland. If you include Tim Loya, that makes four coaches (Sanderson was brought up from JV to varsity late his sophomore season). As Sanderson pointed out, “It wasn’t like it was another coach because (Loya) was just taking over the same system.”
I wondered what he thought about McFarland, and so far Sanderson is excited about him.
“He knows what he wants to get done and he’s doing a good job about making sure we’re all on the right page,” Sanderson said.
What’s been the biggest part about adjusting to a new coach, I wondered.
“Definitely the biggest adjustment has been the lingo, the terminology,” Sanderson said. “They all have their different perspective. At first you wonder what kind of coach they’re going to be, but then after a few days you realize they’re going to be a good coach because they’re passionate about the work. We saw that with coach quickly.
“But of course, because he’s a new coach we have to learn new things.”
There also are different personalities.
“We’re starting to get the hang of it all,” Sanderson said. “White was easier for me because I was new to varsity. So it went from finally learning what he wanted to something new.”
Fade, streak. Those were terms commonly used by Anthony White.
Take off. That’s what McFarland says instead.
“The way we call the plays on offense,” Sanderson said, “it’s different.”
The coaching carousel hasn’t been as bad as it may seem for seniors at Temple City, at least not for Sanderson.
“You learn that each coach has their own philosophy and you learn to adapt to make it work,” Sanderson said. “You know they all want to be successful, and they were successful before coming here.”
Randy Backus was a top assistant coach under Mike Mooney and was the architect behind the 2008 Rams team that reached the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
Anthony White won the Wendy’s High School Heisman, a prestigious national award, before playing for Urban Meyer at Utah.
Mike McFarland was a stellar prep athlete at Arcadia where he was a three-sport athlete, lettering in football, basketball and track. He served assistant coaching stints at Occidental College, Minnesota State University-Moorhead and Missouri Western University.
“So when you realize all that, and you put it all together, you take little things from each of them and you learn to make yourself better,” Sanderson said. “And when you do that, you hope that you give yourself more variety as a player and as a person.”