Super memories: Anthony Waters’ big game experience & coaching l - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Super memories: Anthony Waters’ big game experience & coaching life

GASTONIA, N.C. (WMBF) - Anthony Waters believes his football career always had a big league feel to it even in the late 90's on the small field of Lake View High School.

The support you get from your community there is unbelievable, Waters said of his time with the Wild Gators. And I always tell everybody what you see there playing football is like what you see on the movie Friday Night Lights.

After high school, he earned a scholarship to play at Clemson, where he recorded 217 tackles in 36 games. Then came the NFL, and after playing sparingly for two years, a phone call came halfway through the 2009 season that would be life changing.

I was like a kid at Christmas, he said. The New Orleans Saints who previously cut him earlier in the offseason asked him to join the squad again. (I was) Just ready to get back to New Orleans, and get ready to put back in all the work that I put in before and it paid off for me.

Paid off in the biggest way possible. Waters and the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV over the Colts, earning the team's first championship.

I don't think anything compares to it, Waters said. It doesn't get any better than the Super Bowl.

With a championship ring to his credit, Waters is no longer in the league, but continuing to make a difference in sports.

My coaches impacted my life so much, that I thought it was only right that I give back to the kids, no matter where I am, he said.

He has found a home at Grier Middle School in Gastonia, North Carolina. It's a town reminiscent of Lake View, with similar gridiron success. In his first year as head football coach this fall, he took the school to an undefeated record and district title the fourth straight for the school. Though his lessons span beyond the field.

He's all about bettering the kids in the classroom, on the field and in life in general, said Grier athletic director Elizabeth Ferguson. He has made those kids a family. 

And he believes his job coaching isn
't finished, even in the offseason.

Football is his passion, but in basketball he's one of the assistant coaches, said Ferguson.

Waters is still trying to teach lessons back at home, too. His game-worn Super Bowl jersey hangs in the hallways of Lake View High School, as something for those current Wild Gator athletes to look forward to.

It's all about giving kids a vision, and to have them say if he did, it, I can do it'.

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