Lexington High School senior Anthony Carden worked hard over the summer to make himself bigger, faster and stronger.
He’s hoping football fans will see the results this season.
Carden, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior, is a fullback, but last season he posted the kind of numbers associated with a featured tailback.
Carden ran for 1,237 yards, 429 more than he did in 2006.
“Workouts have gone well, and it’s been hot, so that will be beneficial against teams that are good,” Carden said while taking a break from practice Tuesday. “I’ve focused on not giving up, going hard 110 percent of the time.”
When he’s not working out at school, Carden throws the ball around with his dad and lifts weights at his house at least a couple of times a week.
“I love the game itself, playing, working hard and having fun with your friends,” said Carden, who has been playing football since the third grade. “I like the competition.”
Another reason for Carden’s success last season was the hiring of Allen Sitterle.
Sittlerle coached Daniel High into a state power, winning four state championships. His teams were known for having a power running attack.
Sitterle, who coached Lexington to a 6-6 record last year, said Carden’s greatest strength is that he’s such a competitor.
“In the weightroom, at football, baseball, he physically competes constantly,” he said. “He wins at everything he does.”
On the field, one of the things Sitterle taught Carden was to keep his shoulders down. “(Sitterle) has taught me about running hard and being a leader,” Carden said.
Assistant coach Ed Bouknight, who has coached Carden for three years, said the only reason Carden’s rushing statistics might not increase this season is because other teams have realized what a threat he is.
“He’s a great leader by example,” Bouknight said. “He has a terrific will to win and is unselfish. He’s well-rounded, hard-working.”
Carden has a 3.8 GPA. He has scholarship offers from Presbyterian and Air Force.
“He will be an asset to a college team,” Sitterle said. “He will be a big, strong, solid kid that can play multiple positions.”
“If he doesn’t play college ball, nobody deserves to be on the college field.”
Reach Riddle at (803) 771-8406.