Cutline: Scott Anderson, pictured front row, fourth from left, was a football standout at Hannibal High School, and in 2011 was named to the MU Hall of Fame, where he played before being recruited to pro ball.
A quiet demeanor and a bashful grin mask the drive that sandy-haired Scott Anderson possessed as a high school, university and professional football player. A roofer by trade, Anderson will put down his nail gun on Feb. 12, 2011, long enough to attend the University of Missouri's hall of fame induction ceremony.
While his football career ended when he blew out his left knee while playing offensive guard for the Minnesota Vikings, the lessons he learned on the football field have served as the foundation for the rest of his life.
"The worst things that ever happen are the best things that ever happen, if you learn from your mistakes," Anderson said. While it took him awhile to emotionally rebound from the football injury which ended his career, "I realized after many years I had a blueprint for life. You start at the bottom. If you are fortunate to do something you have passion for, you have the basics. Just do something you like, start at the bottom and build it up. It's the same principle (as football.) I told a friend that I'm a late bloomer. He said at least you're blooming."
Anderson remembers being a young boy, sitting in the stands in Hannibal High School's old gymnasium, watching some great athletes perform on the court. "I used to watch the high school play. Maurice Forte, David Bailey, they were so much fun to watch. Jim Hansen, Robbie Ferrell, those guys really inspired me to want to be able to play sports. And one other name I want to mention. Bobby Heiser. Bobby was a very good football player. They were just great; they have become good friends since."
Anderson first played tackle football for Hannibal's junior high school. "I had really good coaches, Jack Isabel, Coach Workman, Bill Lourie, Gene Hall and Jerry Sanders, Bill Mills, Coach Charlie Wade and Ed Payne. They really made football a lot of fun and taught us the basics," Anderson said.
Throughout junior high and high school, he played football with a formidable group of young athletes. "My teammates, Steve Best, Sammy Waters, Terry Sampson, Rodney Williams and my old buddy Jerry Welch, a lot of guys, really they made football a beautiful experience and we had some really good teams. Those guys have gone on to become successful businessmen in town; they are still really good friends of mine."
Looking forward his induction into the hall of fame, Anderson has been reflecting on all the elements that went into his success on the playing field. First, there were his parents.
"My dad and my mom, I was very blessed to have the parents I had. My dad was literally a coach - just a few years ago he was inducted into the Southeast Missouri State University's first hall of fame class. Mom was still alive and we went down as a family,"Anderson said. "A great athlete, Dad got into coaching. I grew up in a locker room; he put that passion and love of sports in me by always being around it, long before there were TV sports.
"For years, I played football because I didn't want to disappoint Dad, even though he didn't put that kind of pressure on me. I remember coming home after my first seventh-grade practice - the first year of tackle football - and told my mom I really didn't like it. She said "that's OK, but it sure will disappoint your dad.' So I hung in there. I'm very thankful for the dad that I had. I know that without him being an athlete and loving sports, I would probably have been in the band or something."
Doc Porter, who served as the physician for student athletes, was another major motivator in Anderson 's life. "As a junior in high school, I had two broken hands. I used to go down to his office every day, for an hour, during football season. It wasn't about my hands; he would give a pep talk to me for an hour every day. Those pep talks meant a lot to me. He was a wonderful man I had a great regard for. A lot of thanks to him. A beautiful person.
"You can't believe his conversations with me during that time; he would literally talk to me like I was 35 years old."
Those pep talks continued while Anderson was playing for the University of Missouri. "He wrote me over at the university many times. Even after I had a good game, he always said, "You've got to improve, you've got to get better.' That's a person who really cares about you."
When Anderson was a high school senior (1968-69) being recruited by various schools, Doc Porter once again stepped up to help. "The most I weighed in high school was 186 pounds. He said, "Here, put your winter coat on, put the boots on, a jacket, an overcoat,' and had me put golishes on over those. I weighed 198 pounds. That's what I was listed as, he added 12 pounds to my weight for my resume for those schools."
Fifteen years ago, he started his roofing company following his football blueprint. "I found something I love, outside, with young guys I'm proud of. I've seen them grow so that they are outstanding at what they do, It has been a lot of fun. We started at the bottom and now we have a good solid business because of teamwork and doing it right. Just like a team, knowing how to win.
"Dad used to say, if you are persistent, you can win."
Anderson possesses a grounded faith that has served him well throughout his life. "I want to thank my grandfather, Bill Gemeinhardt. He shared the love of Christ with me as a little boy. I wavered at times in my life, made a lot of mistakes, but I came back to my roots and my home. I'm thankful for that gift from him and my mom and dad. I try to keep that in perspective for everything. I have a lot to be thankful for."
This fall, another generation of Scott 's family stepped up to participate in sports, and he has once again returned to his role as a sports spectator.
"My granddaughter Chole just finished up her seventh-grade basketball season, and they did great," he said. She plays for Highland, where her mother - Scott 's daughter Trisha Hinton - teaches fourth grade. "I'm so proud of Chole. They only lost one game."