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The 6-4, 360-pound junior is back after misisng all of last season with a hip injury

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Sturgeon Anderson, a 6-4, 360-pound junior, is starting at guard on Canby's offensive line.

Jim Anderson wanted a unique name for his son.

"I'm a fishing nut and I used to Sturgeon fish every possible day I could," Anderson says. "I wanted a different name. You go to the doctor's office and there's 50 of me (Jim Anderson) there. It took some convincing to get his mom to agree to it."

Sturgeon Anderson was born 6 pounds, 4 ounces, but like the fish he was named after, Sturgeon grew, and grew, and grew.

"We had the name picked out before he was born, but it kind of suites him," Anderson says.

Sturgeon, a junior at Canby High School, is listed at 6-4, 375 pounds on the Cougars football roster.

"People ask me how tall I am all the time and how much I weigh," says Sturgeron, who wears 16 and a half size shoes. "It doesn't really bother me."

While Sturgeon has always been the biggest kid his age, a series of injuries led to him adding even more weight.

As an eighth grader, Sturgeon says he was about 6 foot tall and weighed around 260 pounds.

"That was my prime," Sturgeon says with a grin. "I was fit. I didn't have as much body fat as I do now."

The summer before his freshman year of high school, Sturgeon fractured a growth plate in his shoulder while swinging a baseball bat.

Fully recovered, Sturgeon was ready to swing between the JV and varsity football teams last fall when he suffered a hip injury during the first JV game, ending his season.

"It was a bummer," Sturgeon recalls. "It was my first year of being on varsity. I was a big kid. Everybody was hyping me up, and then right off the bat, I get injured."

While recovering from the hip injury, Sturgeon says his weight rose to around 390 pounds.

Finally healthy, Sturgeon is now down to 360. He hopes to play at around 340 by his senior year.

"Conditioning to where he started the season to where he is now is night and day difference," Canby football coach Jimmy Joyce says. "He made almost every weight (training) workout this summer. You see him grow as a football player, but you see him grow as a person, too."

On Sept. 6 at home against Lincoln, Sturgeon made his first start at left guard on Canby's offensive line.

"It was amazing," Sturgeon recalls of the game, where the Cougars rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter before ultimately losing 26-22. "It was a thrill. My heart was beating fast the entire time. That was the best game we've had in like three years. It was a blast."

Sturgeon has impressed Canby's coaches on film.

"He's had a great year so far," Joyce says. "There's some plays where he's making a huge difference out there. He's a physical kid. It's pretty impressive to watch how well he moves for his size, too. He has the capability to be a really dominant lineman."

Sturgeon, who crew up in Colton and then moved to Canby when he was 8 years old, has played football since the third grade.

He works with Alex Linnenkohl, former center for Oregon State and the Chicago Bears, at LinePro Football Training Center in Beaverton.

"He's a good inspiration on my life," Sturgeon said. "I love the thought of going to play college football."

Over the summer, Sturgeon got a good look at his namesake. Fishing at Hells Canyon in Idaho, he reeled in an 8 foot Sturgeon, his first.

Before picking Sturgeon, the Andersons also considered another name — Garrett.

"I'm glad I got Sturgeon," the Canby junior says.

Derek Wiley
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