Blevins, Anderson fulfilling dreams in Cyclone orange and black

Brandon Blevins

David Anderson

By Ivan Sanders
In the early years of adolescence, dreams are shaped by events observed through the eyes of imaginative youngsters looking for a hero.
The world of sports has provided many moments kids often dream about: opening a hole for Tony Dorsett to run through; booting a punt like a guy named Ray Guy did in his heyday, or being part of a championship team like the members of the Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh.
For two members of the Elizabethton Cyclones, David Anderson and Brandon Blevins, dreams of rushing through the student tunnel, high-fiving Tuffy the Cyclone, and standing before the hundreds of Cyclone supporters in the stands on Friday nights have turned into reality.
"I've been wanting to start here since I moved to Elizabethton from Marion, Virginia five years ago," said Anderson, a massive offensive lineman for the team. "I love it and I really think that if we keep working hard, we will be just fine the rest of the season."
David is the son of Pam and Jerry Miller and has played football for 11 years, including the peewee league in Virginia to the present. He enjoys world history and auto mechanics in school and travels with his mother on Sundays to local churches where his mother ministers in song.
Being a lineman is often a thankless position and one that is overlooked because the Friday night heroes are mainly the running backs and other prime-time athletes that score the points. It is a position that requires a tough mentality, one that is constantly challenging the athlete with entirely different scenarios each snap.
Said Anderson: "You've got to know who you are going to have to hit every play, and once you hit that person, you must be able to keep driving him until the whistle blows. It makes you work harder if the quarterback or tailback gets hit because that means you have missed somebody. If we hit like we are supposed to, we'll be able to score some touchdowns as well."
Anderson is hoping that a career in law enforcement might open the door to playing collegiately after graduating from EHS in the spring. He offers some advice to the younger kids who might like to play line for the Cyclones in the future.
"You need to give it your best, never quit, and do your job by playing every down like its your last because it could be," stated Anderson. "You can't fall apart if you mess up because you need to keep your heart together to get back up and go again."
Blevins was urged to play football by his uncle after playing some back yard football and discovering he had a pretty good leg for kicking the pigskin around.
"Punting is one of my favorite things to do and I love it," he said. "I have worked on several different workouts during the summer along with attending a couple of kicking camps which have really helped."
Blevins is the son of Jeff Blevins and Debbie Sams and attends Immanuel Baptist Church in Elizabethton. He has been playing football since the seventh grade and enjoys world history and home economics in the classroom.
Averaging 40 yards per punt for the season with a season's best of 65 yards, Blevins is raising the eyebrows of not only the Cyclone fans and coaches, but he is also catching the eye of some major colleges.
"Wofford, Virginia, Carson-Newman, and Sewanee have contacted me so far," said Blevins. "I would really like to go to Virginia Tech because of their tradition of special team play or the University of Tennessee though."
Blevins is considering studying either sports management or computers as a possible major.
Many people think that the punter's job is a minimal task on the team, but for many coaches at the high school level the punter is so much more.
"I think the first three weeks have proven what a weapon a punter can be because we can pin our opponents very deep with a good punt," quipped Blevins. "Coach Moore has really helped me out with punting and placing the ball on pooch kicks."
Following dreams are often all people have and observations of the two Cyclones previously mentioned prove that dreams do come true. Yet, the one main ingredient is the desire to succeed by dedicating oneself to a task with a heartfelt commitment.
Brandon Blevins and David Anderson are walking examples of two young men who have put in the work and dedication needed to reach for the stars and secure their dreams in support of the orange and black of Elizabethton High School.