BOULDER — As a term of endearment, Fairview senior Anders Hill has come to be known by his teammates as “Viking.”
And while he may not be able to throw a battle-axe through a Norway spruce, he can absolutely thread a football. Judging by his Week 1 performance, big things are in store for the senior as one of the state’s premier gunslingers.
The Knights are after their own little prize this year, that being what they’ve dubbed the Triple Crown: a city championship with a win against Boulder, a 5A North Metro League championship, and of course, the state title.
Hill is among a large group of seniors who have put their individual goals aside for the team’s ambitions.
“I didn’t really establish goals for myself, because for myself to have a successful season, it has to be a successful season as a team,” Hill said Tuesday as the Knights were preparing for Saturday’s grudge match against Overland. “For the team, we’re going for the Triple Crown. That’s where the bar is set, and we want to take things one game at a time and prepare the same way for each game.”
Hill and the Knights got their season started with a dominating performance against Poudre, with the QB going 20-of-29 for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Using an array of targets — get used to that — Hill drove the Knights down the field for scores on every possession he directed.
For him to have been on the field for Week 1 was already a win in his book. A varsity player his sophomore year, Hill was ready to take over the starting role as a junior before a freak injury in preseason resulted in a fractured ankle lot of missed time. He returned for the final four games of the 2012 slate, throwing for 1,192 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
During that time when he was relegated to the sideline, though, Hill both learned and led.
Johnny Feauto, a year younger, took over as quarterback and Hill took him under his wing as much as he could.
“It was a hard year but it taught me a lot about leadership and just doing what I can for my team. All in the end, I think it helped me and I definitely have grown from it,” Hill said.
“When he got his injury last year, I saw him really take a huge leadership role without being able to play,” fellow senior Owen Harris added. “He has all the God-given talent in the world, and that leadership aspect is huge.
“Especially with Johnny last year, he really pushed him in practice … he really wanted to help Johnny read defenses, and he wanted to help win in any way he could.”
Of course, the physical talents were there before Hill even took his first snap for the Knights. The son of a former Utah recruit — his father, Erich, was set to play QB until a broken wrist ended his career — Hill caught the attention of Fairview coach Tom McCartney even in 8th grade.
He’s gotten bigger and has developed a stronger arm, but McCartney loves his attitude and his smarts. Both have led to a successful career that will put him among the school’s best all-time when things are said and done.
“Everybody knew about him, and his freshman year, if we had records for freshmen coming in he broke all of them,” McCartney said. “The thing about Anders is how smart he is. He understands that if the defense is going to bring pressure, then it makes sense to get the ball out quick. If the defense is going to sit back a little bit, he understands where the grass might be that we’re trying to attack.
“Depending on what the defense does … he tries to hurt them where they have weakness and vulnerability.”
“I have all the confidence in the world that we have the best quarterback in the state,” Harris said. “He can make any throw at any time, and he can lead us.”Hill is aiming to follow his father’s path to be a college quarterback, and that equates to there being a lot on his plate right now. Several schools are chasing after him and so far, he’s received offers from Cornell, Harvard, and Montana. It’s a decision he’ll not take lightly.
“I’ve been talking to in-state schools like (Colorado) and (Colorado State), but I’ve also talked to Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, and three Ivy League schools,” said Hill, who carries a 4.0 grade-point average. “I’m definitely trying to keep my options open, and I like all the schools I’ve been talking to.
“I can’t complain about anything. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given.”
Until then, he’ll just be a Viking leading the Knights to success.
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