They are simply terms of endearment to an offensive lineman; music to their ears.
Nasty and “having a mean streak” are high atop the list of superlatives that can be bestowed on offensive linemen, and Zachary senior Blake Anderson has been labeled that way by his coach.
“He’s got a little mean streak, some nastiness,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “He’s a violent run blocker. He’s what you want in an offensive lineman.”
Anderson, 6-foot-3, 290 pounds, likes Zachary’s multiple offense, with Brewerton’s standards for physical play — something that served as a catalyst for all the linemen.
The system was right in Anderson’s wheelhouse from the day Brewerton arrived, allowing a then freshman to not only make the varsity roster, but see occasional duty.
When Anderson lines up at left guard Friday in fourth-seeded Zachary’s Class 5A nonselect state semifinal at top-seeded West Monroe (13-0) at 7 p.m., it will mark the 57th game of his career — the most in school history.
“It’s an honor to have played for Zachary for so many games,” Anderson said. “I was part of the Junior Broncos and looked up to the older Broncos. I couldn’t wait for that day I could play on Friday nights and be just like them.”
Now today’s standouts of Zachary’s youth football program look to Anderson in much the same light, a selfless player driven to helping his team secure a second state championship in three years.
The opportunity for playing time — especially for an offensive lineman at the Class 5A level — came sooner than later for Anderson, who caught the eye of Brewerton and offensive line coach Jason Davis as an eighth-grader.
Anderson not only went through spring training with Zachary’s varsity heading into his freshman season, Brewerton said it was in Anderson’s best interest to start on the junior varsity and play with the varsity.
“To have a guy that size as a 15-year-old, and move the way he could move, you’ve got an opportunity to have a really good offensive lineman,” Brewerton said.
Anderson vividly recalled his first “welcome to the varsity moments” administered by current TCU reserve center Kelton Hollins, who went on to play a vital role in his development.
“I thought I was the coolest thing on the block, and Kelton put me in my place in one of our drills,” Anderson said. “I had to pick myself up off the ground. It was a most humbling experience. It helped me learn I had to put in the work like everyone else did.”
Anderson learned fast, improving on his playing time as a freshman and becoming a full-fledged starter as a sophomore on Zachary’s state championship team.
He’s been there ever since, evolving into a three-year starter and two-time All-District 4-5A selection that’s taken on an even greater role this season.
With an inexperienced offensive line returning, Anderson’s value to Zachary grew with his leadership in helping the Broncos develop another cohesive unit, along with tackles Trelon Harris and Kaleb Johnson, guard Michael Guillott and center Kolby Matthews, who replaced injured senior Tahj Patterson two weeks ago.
That group has paved the way for an offense that’s averaged 34 points and more than 350 yards per game. Meanhwile, Anderson has graded out at 88 percent with 92 knockdown blocks — both team highs.
“It’s a blast to be a part of this offense when things are really clicking,” Anderson said. “To watch somebody pick themselves up after you’ve pancaked them is the greatest feeling.”