Brunswick High’s quarterback Anthony Mountain is heading into his final year of high school football and through the process has become an ideal leader for the Pirates.
Coach Sean Pender said that he expects his quarterbacks to be leaders and hold themselves to the standards he sets.
“Whoever’s at quarterback I expect them to be leaders, to play that position you have to have that leadership role,” Pender said.
Each season, Pender sends home a form that lists the expectations the coaches have for their players. There are 10 steps listed, and he expects his players to sign it and hold themselves accountable. He also has a zero period class, that goes from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. about leadership training.
In that leadership training, the players who go to it learn about 14 leadership qualities.
Those 14 leadership qualities are, trust, enthusiasm, strong work ethic, mental toughness, passion, pride, unselfishness, confidence, competitiveness, expect greatness, perseverance, class, communicate and having a sense of humor.
Whether he’s on the football field or not, Mountain holds himself accountable to these steps and understands his role on the team.
Mountain hurt his knee last season and this offseason, he’s gone through the process of surgery and rehabilitation. He said that this leadership training helped him through the recovery in a specific way.
“The biggest thing I took away from the program was mental toughness because that’s the most difficult thing to go through during the recovery,” Mountain said. “So I just keep the mindset that things will get better and to stay strong and don’t give up at any point.”
Through it all, he was at spring football practice every step of the way, still being that leader even though he couldn’t play. Mountain isn’t cleared to play yet, but he’s starting to be able to take more reps and get back into the swing of being the starting quarterback.
While some would see a knee injury as adversity they must overcome, Mountain doesn’t see it that way.
“The adversity I’ve faced hasn’t been too bad because I’ve been through this process before,” Mountain said. “Now it’s just kind of the waiting game, and I would say that is the most frustrating thing about this.”
Mountain understands that he has to help the younger quarterback Jeffrey Waye get ready for the season because that’s what good leaders do. In practice, these two and K.J. Lee are always talking with each other, and Mountain is still there to help explain and teach the young quarterback.
He said that this injury has helped him on the mental side of things as he has kept up with what’s going on even though he isn’t playing.
“It’s helped me out because I see more now getting mental reps and I can just relay those things down to Jeff,” Mountain said. “Coach Pender will shoot me questions just to make sure I’m staying in the game and on my toes.”
When asked about his relationship with Pender, it was evident that the coach has been a significant influence on Mountain.
“I could write a book on how coach Pender has helped me,” Mountain said. “He’s believed in me for a while now, and he takes a lot of time out to help me fix the little things in my mechanics. So I thank him for being a great coach and having patience with me.”
Mountain is an ideal player in regards to these steps and training, and he embraces his leadership role.
“It means a lot to be a leader on my team,” Mountain said. “I enjoy helping others when I can, and I love being a mentor to the younger guys giving them someone or something to look up to.”