Derek Anderson, onetime Scappoose High Indian, will have his number retired at the home opener Friday, Sept. 9.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO - Derek Anderson, shown here as a backup quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.
A former NFL player who put Scappoose High School on the sports map will be honored at the Friday, Sept. 9, Indians football home opener against Estacada.

Derek Anderson, a former Scappoose High football star, will have his jersey retired at the game, according to Scappoose head football coach Sean McNabb.

Describing Anderson, McNabb said, "He's the most decorated player we've ever had come out of Scappoose as an athlete."

"Derek is a Scappoose kid who grew up here," McNabb said. "Scappoose won its first state championship in football in 2000, and that was Derek's senior year."

The Indians defeated Pleasant Hill 28-14 in that contest, with Anderson throwing for 314 yards and two touchdowns.

After his time at Scappoose High, Anderson went on to play for Oregon State, where he was a three-year starter for the Beavers. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005 as a sixth-round pick, but he was soon waived and picked up by the Cleveland Browns.

"Long story short, he wound up playing 14 years in the NFL," McNabb remarked.

Anderson was a starting quarterback with Cleveland and briefly the Arizona Cardinals, but he kept his NFL career alive as a backup quarterback long after his starting days were done.

For McNabb, Anderson's longevity in a league rife with players who have short careers was no real surprise.

McNabb explained, "Derek lasted a long time in the NFL for a lot of reasons. One of them is Derek is a great locker room guy. People around him are better because of him. I know that he made a lot of rosters because he was such a great team player. He was the glue that held a lot of those teams together."

Anderson's NFL career included an appearance in Super Bowl 50, in 2016, when he played for the Carolina Panthers — backing up star quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers lost the big game 24-10.

McNabb told the Spotlight he wanted to honor Anderson at next Friday's contest in Scappoose.

"I felt, as a coach, that it's time," he said. "This is my 30th season, my 24th as the head coach. I just felt it was time to start recognizing some of the great players who have come here."

Reached by the Spotlight, Anderson said he feels honored by the recognition.

"It's a very nice gesture," said Anderson, who still has family in Scappoose, including his wife's parents. "I'm very proud to have come from there. … It will definitely be good to see some people I haven't seen for a long time."

Anderson is particularly looking forward to ringing in a new era at Scappoose High: It will be the first game played on the school's new turf field, a long-awaited upgrade to the facility.

"I know my family and I will be looking forward to it, and opening the stadium will be pretty awesome," Anderson said.

McNabb plans on starting a "Ring of Honor" at Scappoose High.

"Not that I'm going to be retiring numbers every year, but I will add some past players to that," he said. "But I feel like Derek needs to be the first one that we recognize."

McNabb added, "It's a long time overdue. I kind of wanted to wait until he was done playing to do it, so I feel this is the perfect time."

Anderson retired from the NFL in 2019, after suffering a concussion in the previous season with the Buffalo Bills.

Sept. 9 will be a busy evening at the high school, with both the Anderson ceremony and the unveiling of the new sports turf. Because of that, McNabb said events could begin as early as 6 p.m.

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