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B.E. Area’s Anderson named a finalist for Mr. Football

HIGHER LEVEL — Blue Earth Area split end Cameron Anderson (left) elevates to catch a pass against a Maple River defender and Buc teammate Ty Peterson during regular-season football action at Wilson Field in Blue Earth. Anderson has been selected as a finalist for the Minnesota Football Coaches Association’s 2020 Mr. Football Award. (Photo by Greg Abel)

BLUE EARTH — From a mathematical perspective, the numbers three and six have proven significant ‘factors’ relative to Blue Earth Area split end/safety Cameron Anderson’s prep football career.

The fleet-footed three-year varsity starter earned all-South Central Red District and Sentinel All-Area accolades while donning the Bucs’ No. 3 jersey during his junior gridiron campaign in 2019.

Ironically, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior opted to double his uniform number to six this fall and in the process, garnered three elite postseason honors.

Anderson was selected as the 2020 South Central White District player of the year after the Bucs switched districts during the offseason before sharing the Sentinel All-Area player of the year award with teammate Max Ehrich last Saturday.

Anderson, however, pocketed one of Minnesota’s most prestigious honors earlier this week when he was tabbed as a finalist for the 2020 Minnesota Football Coaches Association’s Mr. Football Award.

Ironically, Anderson becomes the third Blue Earth Area player to reach the final round of 10 all-state individual honorees, joining former Buc all-time greats Logan Becker (2007) and Jonah Pirsig (2011) to be bestowed the annual distinction since 2004.

“He told me earlier in the week that I was probably a finalist for the award since he had been notified by the (MFCA) selection committee,” Anderson said in reference to Blue Earth Area head football coach Randy Kuechenmeister, who was named the 2020 all-district coach of the year, “and then I saw the official notice on Twitter on Wednesday.

“No, I couldn’t really believe it, honestly,” Anderson said in reference to being named as one of the 10 finalists for all seven classes of football in the Minnesota high school ranks. “Last year, Jalen Suggs won the award and he’s a big-name player in both football and basketball. Just to be nominated for the award is special.”

Ironically, Suggs of SMB (St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy and Blake) opted to accept a basketball scholarship from current Division I No. 1-ranked Gonzaga and is making key contributions on the hardwood court as a true freshman.

Anderson, a perennial Sentinel All-Area and Big South Conference hoops selection, now faces a similar dilemma to Suggs’ pivotal decision in determining which athletic endeavor to play at what college next season.

“Up until this year, basketball was definitely my favorite (sport), but from last season to this season, my football coaches said I had shown a lot of improvement in my overall game,” said Anderson, who’s received legitimate inquiries from Gustavus Adolphus College, Bethany Lutheran, St. Olaf and St. John’s for his prowess on the hardwood court. “The football schools who have shown interest want me to commit soon, so I should try to decide by the early signing day (Dec. 16).”

Anderson, who garnered six interceptions from his spot in the Bucs’ defensive secondary and grabbed 27 passes for 572 yards and eight TDs at wide receiver in 2020, has caught the recruiting vision of Bemidji State, Southwest Minnesota State, Northern State and even some interest from powerhouse Minnesota State University-Mankato for his skills on the gridiron.

“It (college recruiting) is such a different year, with players receiving an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19,” said Kuechenmeister. “College programs want to get an early jump on the process by getting firm commitments by the early signing date, and that’s difficult for some of the student-athletes to make such a big decision in a short span of time.”

If Anderson opts to play football at the next level, he brings speed, sure-handed pass-catching skills and an incredible vertical leap to both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“He’s definitely a game-changer. He makes things happen when he has the football in his hands,” said Kuechenmeister. “He’s a great athlete, but an even better person.

“Being named a Mr. Football finalist is a reflection of his abilities and his teammates’ skills, and how the program did as a team.”

Anderson and the Bucs captured their second consecutive Section 2AA championship during the coronavirus-condensed season, compiled a perfect 7-0 record and earned the No. 2 spot in the final Minnesota AP Class AA state football poll.

Anderson closed out his esteemed prep football career with 98 receptions for 1,470 yards and 15 TDs; 17 carries for 222 more yards and four scores; seven punt returns for 270 yards and two TDs; and 14 kickoff returns for 312 yards and one more score. Anderson had 84 tackles and eight interceptions, including a pick-6, to highlight his defensive efforts.

Anderson and Barnesville quarterback/safety Adam Tonsfeldt represent the only two Mr. Football finalists from Class AA, while Waseca defensive end/offensive guard/kicker Marcus Hansen represents the only Class AAA player to break the top 10 list.

Orono’s Shea Albrecht, Totino-Grace’s Joe Alt, Moorhead’s Trey Feeney, Minneapolis Southwest’s Nick Flaskamp, Chanhassen’s Eli Mau, Rosemount’s Jake Ratzlaff and St. Thomas Academy’s Garrison Solliday complete the Mr. Football finalists this season.

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