Anthony Rios-Carlsen Ready To Lead Hunters to City Title

Canoga Park Looks Forward to Rematch Against San Fernando

The Division II Los Angeles City Section Championship game Saturday afternoon at East LA College features a rematch of Valley Mission League rivals. In their first meeting October 26, the San Fernando Tigers defeated the Canoga Park Hunters 36-28.

Since then, the Hunters have racked up four straight victories, including an impressive 49-36 playoff victory over regular season league champion Van Nuys and a dramatic last second 36-35 victory over Jefferson in the semifinals.

A driving force behind the Hunters success this season has been the stellar play of senior linebacker Anthony Rios-Carlsen .

CLA had the opportunity to catch up with Anthony as he prepares to lead the Hunters to a championship.

Rios-Carlsen is a tackling machine. The Canoga Park linebacker’s success on the field can be attributed to his high football IQ, attention to detail and appetite for greatness.

“I feel that I have a great nose for the ball, and I love to hit. Once I get my hands on you, you’re going down. I watch at least 45 minutes a day on my opponent (and that starts Saturday morning). I look for any keys or tendencies I can exploit during the game,” said Rios-Carlsen.

Anthony expects a different result than the first encounter.

“We made a lot of mistakes in the first game, and we honestly feel we beat ourselves. We are a better team now, and we have a couple of new additions that have really helped,” said Rios-Carlsen.

‘The three keys to the game in my opinion are to win the turnover battle,, play discipline football and play our game and not beat ourselves”

The prospect of winning a title is of vast importance to Rios-Carlsen.

“It would mean everything. All the hard work that I put in during the off-season, the summer, in the gym and on Friday nights is all for this…the chance to be the CHAMP! That’s something no one can ever take away from you..”

As expected, Rios-Carlsen is drawing interest from programs around the country and is destined to play at the next level.

“I’m getting heavy recruiting attention from a lot of DIAA schools all over the nation and I have been in constants contact D1 schools as well…Colorado, Air Force and New Mexico State to name a few.”

When asked to guarantee victory, the humble Rios-Carlsen offered this.

“My dad has always taught me to respect my opponent, so I’m not going to be cocky. The one thing I will say is…if we play our game we are very hard to beat. The SF coach disrespected us in the paper and we haven’t forgotten about that!”

As if Anthony didn’t have enough motivation to bring home the championship, Rios-Carlsen is dedicating the game to a fallen brother.

“I just talked to head coach D’Vah Thomas at Salesian and let him know that ARC (Anthony Rios-Carlsen) of Canoga Park High is dedicating his play in the championship to ARC (Ashton “Rose” Crosswell) of Salesian. D’Vah (Thomas) has always been a supporter of mine and I’ve been friends with Jihad Vercher for a couple years now since we work out with B2G together so that’s the least I can do to honor their loss. So with Ashton lined up next to me, SF is going to feel the force of Canoga’s 12th man!”

CLA will be on the sidelines to cover the action and get post-game reactions. We wish both teams the best of luck and offer our deepest condolences to Ashton Crosswell’s family and friends.