2011 could be the year for Anthony Gildon to shine. The 6-foot-1, 185 pound senior cornerback from Simi Valley (Oaks Christian) will be the sole senior in coach John Neal's defensive backfield, and besides locking down a receiver, will be looked upon to help bring the younger guys up to the next level. Duck Sports Authority caught up with Gildon to see how his spring is progressing.
Duck Sports Authority: How are things going for you this first couple days of spring?
Anthony Gildon: I feel like it is going well out there. Everybody is running around and it always feels good to get back out on the field.
Duck Sports Authority: What are your personal goals for the 2011 season?
Anthony Gildon: This year for me, because I've been here for some years and know the playbook real well, I want to help bring some of the younger dudes up and have them understand the defense just as well. So that's one of the goals I have in mind, to step up in more of a leadership kind of role.
Duck Sports Authority: You graduated a few leaders off last year's defense. You're a senior now. Is it your time to shine?
Anthony Gildon: It's my time to step up and help other people on the field. But still I want to get better every day while I'm helping other guys get better. Just as they are pushing me I want to push them.
Duck Sports Authority: How is your body doing right now?
Anthony Gildon: I feel very good physically right now. I had a good winter and I'm coming back stronger and faster than I've ever been. I'm excited to be getting on the field to start getting my technique down and just play every day.
Duck Sports Authority: Last year was so close going to the national championship but losing by a couple. Does that provide motivation this year or is it a clean slate in your mind?
Anthony Gildon: You always start fresh in the spring. But still there is that bitter taste in the mouth. Still, we now know that we know how to get there and we have to push ourselves even harder to get past it.
Duck Sports Authority: What does the team need to do to take it that next half step to be the best in the country?
Anthony Gildon: I think we need to keep doing what we are doing. Keep working hard: Fast, hard, finish. Just like Coach (Chip) Kelly always tells us to do. We want to do everything fast and finish hard with everything we are doing. We need to keep up the tempo, and just work hard every day. That's where we are going to go.
Duck Sports Authority: Leadership is going to be a key to success again this year. What is your style of leadership?
Anthony Gildon: I've never really been that vocal of a guy. I'm more of a laid back kind of guy. Obviously I want to show guys how to do things right. What I do is I pull people to the side if I see something wrong. I'm not going to yell at you or do anything like that. That's not the kind of guy I am. If I see something I am going to tell them just like they will tell me. It's a give and take kind of thing.
Duck Sports Authority: Is this style based on your past with older guys helping you?
Anthony Gildon: When I was younger I liked the older dudes who would pull you aside when they see something that can make you better just so maybe you can check it and see what you can do to make it right.
DSA will keep an eye on Anthony Gildon as he works to become a heavy contributor to this year's success.