Given the opportunity, Barrington's Anderson thrived
Barrington's Peter Anderson didn't materialize out of thin air. It just may seem like that.
Anderson played sparingly for Barrington in 2019. He came in to play quarterback mostly in a mop up role for the Broncos. The hopes were that he could step up in the fall of 2020 and possibly develop into the starting quarterback.
Then COVID hit and no one knew what was on tap for football.
But Anderson showed that successful football players just don't play the game on a 100-yard field. Anderson used the extra offseason to learn what it takes to be a varsity quarterback.
He stared at white boards. He endlessly watched film. He was on Zoom calls with his coaches and former Barrington and All-Area quarterback Johnny Davidson discussing quarterback play, defenses and reads. He also hit the weight room, going from 170 pounds to 198 pounds.
All of this, not knowing is he would ever get a chance to step onto the field. And at times it appeared that it would never happen.
And when his time did finally come, Anderson answered the bell vociferously, yet with poise.
In six games he completed 68 percent (84-of-124) of his passes for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns with just 2 interceptions. He averaged 15.7 yards per completion for a QBR of 133.6. He also rushed for 84 yards and 5 touchdowns while leading Barrington to the Mid-Suburban League West Division title, a perfect 6-0 record and the first MSL football championship since 1974.
That type of play not only earned him a place on the Daily Herald All-Area team but earned him the title of captain for the spring 2021 season.
"He has worked his tail off for this opportunity," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said of Anderson. "From the time the season ended last year to gratefully having the opportunity this year, he was all in."
Anderson said he learned how to play quarterback before stepping onto the field.
"I would say there were two major things," Anderson said. "I watched a ton of film with (offensive coordinator Pat) Wire. "We did it a lot my junior year and in the offseason. I learned how to read defenses, how to check out of plays and look defenses off. It was all really beneficial to my play."
When Anderson was a junior, Tommy Fitzpatrick, a senior and in his second season as the varsity starter, was running the Barrington offense. But according to Wire, that's when Anderson began his studies.
"He would come in once a week and we broke down everything," Wire said. "Not just film from Tommy Fitzpatrick's era, from the time when Davidson was quarterback as well. Anderson is an absolute student of the game. It slowed the game down for him to anticipate, rather than react. It was just fantastic to watch it all together."
Barrington quarterback coach Todd Kuklinski, who has been with Sanchez since he took over in 2002, said Anderson has tremendous tools.
"His arm talent is second to none," Kuklinski said. "He makes every throw and when you've got an arm like that things look easier than most. We were drooling in the fall and able to unwrap everything in the spring. Everything planned out perfectly."
Sanchez said Anderson was ready when the season began in March.
"Beyond the training, the throwing, the lifting, the running, the getting guys together, plus the time he spent with our coaches going over the board and film, he really became a student of the game," Sanchez said. "That's the thing that impressed me so much. He is a very intelligent kid, but his football IQ has really grown."
The hard work and great season paid huge dividends for Anderson. He was going to attend Augustana and hopefully get a shot to play quarterback there. But when North Dakota State of the FCS saw his film, they offered a preferred walk on and Anderson accepted.
"I always wanted to play quarterback at the highest level possible," Anderson said.
"I am looking forward to getting started right away."