The now-shattered program record of 129 tackles in a season (set by Joseph Figueroa in 2008) proves critics wrong. According to MaxPreps, Anthony has trumped the milestone with 138 total tackles, 85 of which are of the solo variety. “It’s like I was in a little shell, but then I just came out and it’s just amazing,” Anthony said. “No one expected me to become some star on defense, but like, it happened.” “When I was there,” says Barrera, who now plays at College of the Canyons, “he was new and we were all just like, ‘Who is this kid?’ And then once we started practice, he really showed us he’s a hard hitter and he’s a hard worker. He had dedication to the team. … I wish I could be out there with him.” With a lean, lanky build, Anthony doesn’t fit the description of the traditional brick-wall middle linebacker, but rather a new-age linebacker fit for handling spread offenses. “His stature (gives him) a leg up because he’s so fast,” Harris said. “So he’s able to get around linemen quicker and pursue the ball faster because of his speed, and he’s so tall he can see over most of these offensive lines we play, so I think it helps him more than it hinders him.” In two playoff games, Golden Valley has held opponents to two touchdowns and will likely continue to do so in its third playoff game Friday at Canyon against San Gorgonio of San Bernardino. Harris believes it’s because the defense is just that tough. “I’ve seen on multiple occasions where it looks like a serious injury, but he pops right back up, takes one play off and gets back in,” he said. “I think that’s the identity of this defense, is that we are tough. When things go bad, we’re able to rise to the occasion and I think (Darius) fits in perfect with that.” Anthony has spent his whole football career figuring out the pieces to puzzles. He didn’t realize he was the missing piece to the Grizzlies’ puzzle.
“It’s like I was in a little shell, but then I just came out and it’s amazing.” -Darius Anthony