Anthony Sweeney is about to realize a dream.
Even since the athletic quarterback was in second grade, he’s wanted to play football for De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif.
Year in and year out, the Spartans field powerhouse teams, and De La Salle has produced NFL players like Maurice Jones-Drew, Amani Toomer, D.J. Williams and Matt Gutierrez.
Sweeney has already put himself in position to follow the same path as he heads into his freshman season with the Spartans.
“I’ve always wanted to go to De La Salle, and I finally made it,” Sweeney said in a telephone interview. “My goal is to go in and compete for playing time right away.”
De La Salle attracts tops players from all over Northern California, so Sweeney realizes he is facing a difficult challenge at such a young age.
But when he gets on the field, the varsity coaches are sure to take notice of the dual threat.
“I’m a quarterback, and my main goal is making my team better,” Sweeney said. “I put myself last and I put my team first. I push myself and I push my team to be the best we can be.”
At 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, Sweeney is going to continue gaining size and arm strength, which will undoubtedly help him progress as a passer.
But he’s already known for his running ability, and Sweeney played quarterback out of a veer offense in eighth grade. He is expected to blossom into a can’t-miss major college prospect when both facets of his game come together.
“Running the football, that’s probably my biggest weapon right now,” Sweeney said. “I even started running track to help increase my speed.”
Sweeney added polish to his passing skills while working with QBA/NFA over the past year.
“I’ve been working with Coach (Will) Hewlett, and he’s really helped me with my mechanics,” Sweeney said. “I have already made a lot of improvement throwing the football and it’s something I am going to continue working on.”
The athletic Sweeney has natural football ability, and he is also a standout basketball player.
His father, Roddrick, played two years of professional baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system.
Roddrick noticed Anthony’s preference for football early on.
“Anthony has been playing QB since he was 8 years old and he absolutely loves the position,” Roddrick Sweeney said. “The characteristics that make him a natural fit for the position are: he’s a very good leader, he works hard, he’s very competitive, he hates to lose and most importantly, he truly respects and appreciates his teammates.”
While he has four years of football at De La Salle ahead of him, Sweeney said Southern Cal, Notre Dame and Oregon are programs he is already thinking about.