Running up a storm

Leanne Cave

Anthony Stewart has become an invaluable weapon for the Bakersfield College Renegades offense this season. With a backfield depleted because of injuries, the 20-year old dynamic sophomore was asked to make the switch from wide receiver to tailback after adjusting to wide receiver before the season started.

“We have the highest regard for ‘Stew,’ ” said Brent Damron, BC offensive coach. “We asked him to play in both positions, and he agreed to do whatever is necessary for the team. He’s been an unselfish player, and he has a great attitude. I’m sure he would like to play in one position, but he has made the sacrifice.”

Because of his unselfish attitude and contribution to the team, Stewart has gained the utmost respect from his teammates as well as the coaching staff.

“He’s an all-around team player,” said BC quarterback Thomas Peregrin. “He’ll do whatever is needed with no questions asked. It’s very difficult to switch positions because the plays are different, and you have to make the adjustments. We have faith in him because he’s smart and has a great attitude.”

The faith in Stewart has paid off as the 5-foot 8-inch, 184-pounder from Atlantic City, N.J., has racked opposing defenses for 510 yards and has a 5.9 yards per carry average. Stewart attended Atlantic City High School before coming to BC.

“My family residing in Bakersfield told me that BC is one of the top junior colleges on the West Coast, so I decided to come here to go to school and play football,” Stewart said.

“He’s a fired-up player,” said Jeff Chudy, BC head football coach. “He’s had a lot of learning to do and adjustments to make this season, and he’s done that. He has managed to stay focused and is academically sound.”

Stewart maintains a 3.0 GPA and plans to major in mathematics but is undecided on a four-year college or university.

“I think I would like to go back to the East Coast because it is close to home where I grew up,” he said.

A special person in Stewart’s life is his grandmother, Grace Stewart.

“She has always had great influence in my life,” he said. “She taught me the way of life and how to become a man. I like to talk and visit with her when I can.”

When Stewart isn’t busy with football or academics, he enjoys watching television and playing video games. And yes, he enjoys watching pro football as well. His favorite team is the Kansas City Chiefs, and his favorite players are former NFL standouts Barry Sanders and Marcus Allen.

“Barry and Marcus are my role models,” Stewart said. “I use to like to watch Barry run and Marcus played for the Chiefs.”

One thing Stewart likes about BC is the fan support for the team.

“We have prepared well for the Homecoming game this week, and we are going to do our best not to let our fans down,” he said.