Comet safety leads defense
Beaver’s intensity motivates teammates
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 16:10
Football is a game of physical aggression where gladiator-type players run full speed and crash into one another, whether intentional or not, inflicting pain on their adversaries.
Contra Costa College safety Anthony Beaver Jr. carries a likeable demeanor off the field — his smile and laid-back personality have made him one of the most beloved figures on the football team. But, on the gridiron Beaver is almost the exact opposite.
“He’ll put you on your butt, then pick you up, pat you on the helmet and smile at you,” his father Anthony Beaver Sr. said. “You can take the smile lightly (because) he brings it every time.”
The lack of a stable father figure adversely affected Beaver Sr.’s life, which motivated him to be the stable father he has been in his son’s life. He said he wants to be present in every day of his oldest son’s existence.
“I never had a father growing up,” Beaver Sr. said. “I hope that me being in his life helps make a difference. He knows that if things go wrong he has someone in his corner to back him up.
“It meant everything to me when he was born,” he said. “When he came, I knew the rest of my life would be dedicated to making sure he has what he needs to be successful. Whatever he becomes — a bus driver, an artist or whatever — he’s made me a proud dad.”
The 19-year-old journalism major has become a vital part of the Comet defense, which currently ranks No. 2 in the state in total yards allowed.
While the Comets are 2-3 after five games, Beaver Jr. has continued to display a solid work ethic in practices, resulting in excellent game performances.
In a 13-10 win against De Anza College on Sept. 8, Beaver Jr. was the key factor on defense as he nabbed one of the Comets’ six interceptions.
“We ask our safeties to do a lot,” football coach Alonzo Carter said. “We run some zone coverage but we are primarily a man-to-man team. Anthony can cover a tight end or a receiver and still has the ability to drop back into deep coverage.”
Against De Anza, Carter said Beaver participated in 94 defensive plays.
“That’s a lot of snaps,” the third-year Comet coach said. “We just didn’t feel comfortable taking him out of the game.”
So far this season Beaver Jr. has grabbed two interceptions and recovered one fumble. He has returned one of his picks and the fumble recovery for touchdowns.
Born in San Francisco, Beaver Jr. lived in Oakland for the early years of his life. He got his start in football at an early age.
“I have a love for (football),” Beaver Jr. said. “It’s something I love to do — some people like to shop, I just have a love and passion for the game. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had.”
Among teammates, coaches and family, Beaver Jr. is one of their favorite people. While leading the defense on the field, he is also a valuable friend and loved one off of it.
“We’re like H and 2-O — we stick together like crazy,” Comet defensive back Tyran Finley said. “I had a problem recently and the only person I knew I could call was Beaver. No matter the situation, he has my back and I thank the Lord for him.”
Finley, from Birmingham Ala., said Beaver was one of the first on the team to make him feel welcome at CCC.
Beaver Jr.’s father first signed him up for Pop Warner football at the age of 7 for the East Bay Warriors. In 2003 the Warriors went 16-0 before losing the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Later in his football career Beaver Jr. would face another disappointment, dislocating his knee during his senior year at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo. He then moved on to CCC and re-injured the knee during his first season in 2010.
The injury forced Beaver Jr. to the sidelines as he was forced to redshirt in 2011.
“It was hard (during) my redshirt year to only be able to practice and just watch games,” he said. “However, I wasn’t going to let that stop me.”
Carter said after arriving at CCC, Beaver initially struggled his first year due to the injury. After his injury healed, Beaver persevered, working his way to the top of the depth chart and became a cornerstone in the Comets’ stellar defense in 2012.
“He went from first on the depth chart to second, then third, then back to first,” Carter said. “His dedication and work ethic, I think, are going to take him a long way.”
Beaver Jr. said keeping a strong mentality is one of the reasons he is successful on game days.
“I’m not going to let someone out perform me,” he said. “I hate to lose and I don’t want to be seen as anything less than the best. My competitiveness and ego kicks in on the field. I’m not going to let anyone push me around or slam me to the ground.”
Sophomore tight end Tavio Howard can attest to what Beaver Jr.’s presence means on the defensive side of the ball.
“He is the epitome of what you want from a captain,” Howard said.