PA-born Anderson carries on family tradition

Published 11:32 pm Saturday, December 17, 2016

BEAUMONT — James Anderson should find himself in quite the holiday spirit.

He traveled to Arlington on Friday to see his cousin Dominique “B.B.” Tezeno help West Orange-Stark repeat as 4A Division II state champion in a 24-6 win over Sweetwater.

This week, Anderson will see more of the Dallas Cowboys’ home facility. The Central senior defensive end will take part in the Elite Prospect Scouting All-American Game, part of EPS Senior Showcase, on Wednesday.

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“It’s just amazing,” Anderson said. “It’s a whole lot of players in Southeast Texas, and I’m glad I got picked to be the one. I just thank God for the ability and that I got picked to play in this game.

It’s only fitting Anderson belongs in AT&T Stadium. West Orange-Stark won its fourth state championship in school history there Friday and is the alma mater of Anderson’s father, former Oklahoma State All-American Ernest Anderson.

That’s not all of the football family tree. Deionte Thompson, who played on the 2014 WOS runner-up team as a senior, is a defensive back at Alabama.

Like many all-star games, the Senior Showcase will attract many college scouts, and James Anderson, a 6-foot-1, 235-pounder, will have a chance to field more scholarship offers. Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, Texas Southern and Grambling State have offered Anderson, among others.

“I’m kind of leaning toward Grambling and Texas Southern,” Anderson said, adding he’ll wait until after the game to make a commitment. National Signing Day is Feb. 1.

The elder Anderson said James has come a long way in his career.

“He improved each and every day that he works out,” Ernest said. “Just trying to get him another look from a lot of coaches to make sure he makes the right choice.”

Anderson was born in Port Arthur and was raised there and in Orange before moving to Beaumont for his sixth-grade year. His mother Noelle is a teacher at Port Arthur Memorial.

James Anderson started two seasons for Central and was named All-District 22-5A this season. His father graduated from WOS in 1979, two years after West Orange and Orange Lutcher-Stark High merged, and led the nation in rushing with 1,877 yards for Oklahoma State’s Cowboys in 1982.

Ernest Anderson spent two seasons with the Detroit Lions and two more with the Oklahoma and Arizona Outlaws of the old United States Football League.

James said he picks up his work ethic from Ernest.

“He worked harder than anybody,” James said. “He really, really, really wanted it. He worked for it, and it all paid off.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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