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Cheap shot’ on lineman overshadows playoff game

Senior+Chuckie+Anthony%2C+team%27s+center%2C+suffered+an+MCL+tear+in+the+district+finals+loss+to+FOrest+Hills+Central+on+play+that+many+are+describing+as+%22cheap%22+or+%22dirty%22.+%28Photo+by+Nora+Brown%29
Senior Chuckie Anthony, team's center, suffered an MCL tear in the district finals loss to FOrest Hills Central on play that many are describing as

Senior Chuckie Anthony, team's center, suffered an MCL tear in the district finals loss to FOrest Hills Central on play that many are describing as "cheap" or "dirty". (Photo by Nora Brown)

Senior Chuckie Anthony, team's center, suffered an MCL tear in the district finals loss to FOrest Hills Central on play that many are describing as "cheap" or "dirty". (Photo by Nora Brown)

Carlie McNiff, Sports Editor

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The hit that injured senior lineman Chuckie Anthony during the Forest Hills Central playoff game on Nov. 1 has been called “cheap and appalling” by many as it has made its way across the west side.

The story even made it to the USA Today website.

The film of the hit shows the senior captain standing near the pile of players at the end of a play when a Forest Hills Central player comes from behind and dives at Anthony’s knees.

“Bobo (junior Sincere Dent) was running, and there was a pile, so I started pushing the pile,” Anthony said. “The pile started falling, and I was on the outside of the pile in the front. I felt something hit the back of my leg and heard a crack and could feel it pop. I tried to stand up and roll over, and when I rotated my knee, it hurt. I couldn’t rotate my knee but thought to myself I had to play. I tried to stand up but couldn’t and took my helmet off. They had to help me to the sideline. I was on the trainer’s table and asked him if I could still play, but he said I couldn’t.”

Varsity coach Matt Koziak did not originally see the hit during the game, which the Sailors lost 28-21.

“The coaches who were in the press box for me saw it, so I was going off of what they said,” Koziak said. “Once I saw it on film, I was appalled that it would happen and that anybody would do that to another player and take such a cheap shot. I did not see it originally, but I saw it after on film.”

If it was one of his players who committed the “dirty play,” Koziak said he would kick the player off of the team.

“It’s easy for me to say because we lost, but what you do as a coach says a lot about what you want the reflection of your program to be,” he said. “If it was one of my players, as much as I love our players, if they did something to that extent, going out to physically try to hurt another player, they would probably be kicked off of our team because that is not what our football team is or how it wants to be represented.”

Senior quarterback Tristan Robbins said the play was unnecessary.

“It was probably one of the scummiest things I have ever seen,” Robbins said. “Chuckie did not deserve it.”
Senior offensive tackle Keontae Watson said he was crushed by seeing that happen to Anthony.

“It killed me knowing one of my brothers got hurt,” Watson said. “At first, I didn’t notice what happened until I saw him down, and he didn’t get up like he usually does. For me to always hold his hand while walking out to the field killed me because I would have never expected it to be him, but karma is going to get number 69 soon.”

Anthony had an MRI done, which showed he suffered an MCL tear.

This could impact Anthony’s plans to continue his football career in college as many small colleges were looking at him.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened because, obviously, we lost the game, so it ended our season, but more importantly,

Chuckie has plans to play college sports, and I hope that that didn’t affect his dreams of becoming a collegiate athlete,” Koziak said.

Along with the support from his coaches and teammates, Anthony has been receiving support from people all over the state of Michigan.

“I didn’t expect it to go viral. I realized how many people actually care about me and how many people in our community have my back,” Anthony said. “It was cool to see that people weren’t making excuses for him. It was just cool that the community and even people who don’t go to Shores, like a lot of kids from Zeeland East and alumni from Shores, reached out.”

The Forest Hills Central player who injured Anthony was suspended for one game by his school. He and Anthony had a meeting on Nov. 8 at Shores where they discussed the incident.

“When I met him, it seemed like he was just a kid who made a bad decision,” Anthony said. “I couldn’t tell how sincere he was about it, and it seemed more like him getting out of trouble than him actually being sorry about it. It was like he was more sorry about being caught than he was about actually doing it. I’m sure he is a good kid, but I don’t know too much about him.”

Anthony said he appreciates the support everyone has shown him.

“I’m glad everyone had my back on this,” Anthony said. “I love my fans, my community, and this football program. It’s going to suck to leave Shores after this year, but I’m going to be doing big things and living life to the fullest. For anyone who plays any sport, ball out in your sport because when it’s gone, it’s gone, and you don’t get it back.”

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