This past autumn, senior Tommy Anderson was starting center for Rye High’s state championship football team. Come spring, he’ll play prop on the Garnets’ celebrated rugby team. But it’s wintertime, so Anderson is the heavyweight wrestler for Head Coach Brian Scher’s squad of grapplers – and the Lions Club’s Athlete of the Month for December.
So far this season, Anderson is 17-3 in his bouts as he wrestles his way through the 285-pound division while actually weighing only 220 pounds. How do you give away 65 pounds in a wrestling match and come out on top? “Well, I try to wear the other guy out,” he said. “Then, because I’m usually quicker than those bigger guys, I can often get a late pin.”
“In December, as soon as he won the state football title, Tommy transitioned to wrestling,” Scher said. “He finished the month with 10 wins and one loss, defeating the only All-Section returning heavyweight, Ruben Gray of Peekskill.
“He is going to come down to 215 for Sectionals, though,” Scher added.
When he’s not on the gridiron or the wrestling mat, Anderson is an eager student in the classroom. “I took Mr. Dowling’s forensic-science class, and really found it interesting,” he said. “And I have a special connection to Algebra II, because it’s taught by Mr. Scher.”
In the fall, Tommy will be attending SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx.
“As a kid, my Dad used to take me fishing, and I’ve always loved the water,” he said. “When I graduate [from SUNY], I’ll have a merchant marine license and be able to work anywhere, on my own or someone else’s boat.”
Asked whom he thanks for earning the Lions Club honor, he cited his parents, “for giving me the opportunity to play all these sports. And Coach Scher and [football] Coach Garr, as well as assistant football coaches A.J. Thompson and Tom Codispoti, always there to get me ready on game day.”
As the December winner of the local athletic award, Anderson is eligible for consideration as Rye’s Athlete of the Year, to be presented at the Lions Club’s annual awards luncheon in the spring.