Anderson High’s Parker Phillips runs against Corning in the 2016 playoffs (Photo courtesy of Emily Bertolino/Chico Enterprise-Record).
Taped to the side of Parker Phillips’ locker at Anderson High School is his goals for the 2018 campaign:
“All-section running back, all-NorCal running back, lead section in rushing yards and sacks, section and league M.V.P.”
Lofty goals for the Cubs senior tailback. High expectations. But realistic ones.
Phillips is the Shasta County Sports preseason Most Valuable Player – the No. 1 ranked player in the Football Player Rankings for the 2018 season based on varsity experience and potential impact for his team. He earned it. Phillips is the Northern Section’s returning leader in rushing yards after racking up 1,770 yards as a junior, which stands third-most in school history behind Ryan Watson’s 1,976 yards in 2000 and Grant Kingston’s 1,824 yards in 2015. He did that on 201 carries and scored 25 touchdowns on the season.
Phillips wants to be better. Penciled in on the side of the sheet of paper is “And 2,000 yards.” That’s never happened at Anderson – even back in the heydays of Bob Reid’s “pound the rock” scheme. But, it’s a possibility.
“He’s a great player, strong as heck, he’s fast as heck and (a) hard kid to tackle,” said Anderson senior fullback and linebacker Mario Martinez said. “When we run offense, he’s always that one kid that people are bouncing off of or can’t catch. I’m excited to block for him and show many touchdowns he can score this year.
“I think he’s the best running back in the section.”
The Anderson coaching staff believes the Cubs have an improved offensive line from last year’s monstrous group that led the way for Phillips. With an average height/weight of this year’s line at 6-foot-1, 266 pounds, the Cubs are going to have the size advantage over every opponent on its schedule. And Phillips will be there to benefit.
His offensive success may get him a lot of the glory but his defensive prowess shines as well – totaling 36 tackles, four sacks and eight passes defending last season.
Can Phillips repeat his performance while everyone is focused on him? Well, he did it last year and the philosophy won’t change – Anderson is going to line up and run it right at the defenses. He has another whole year to do it and there’s no doubt that Phillips is the key for Anderson to have a legitimate shot at winning its first section title since 2006.
Release Schedule for Player Rankings
Aug. 15 – Nos. 36-50
Aug. 15 – Nos. 26-35
Aug. 16 – Nos. 21-25
Aug. 17 – Nos. 16-20
Aug. 18 – Nos. 11-15
Aug. 19 – Nos. 6-10
Aug. 20 – No. 5, Bailey Small, Fall River
Aug. 21 – No. 4, Jayden Gordon, Foothill
Aug. 22 – No. 3, Leslie Cummings, Enterprise
Aug. 23 – No. 2, Bailey Sulzer, West Valley
Aug. 24 – No. 1, Parker Phillips, Anderson