Duncan Anderson, a local entrepreneur, knows he doesn’t have to be a superstar, a public figure or a celebrity (on any level) to accomplish great things. Although Anderson was close to fulfilling his dream to become a professional athlete, the injury he sustained ended that journey and thrust him towards his true passion.
Anderson was able to start, Team Holy Dirt, a recreational youth football team that was accepted by the HBCYFL (Harford/Baltimore County Youth Football League), becoming the first program in the league to not present an area. Anderson was the president of the Loch Raven Recreational Program nickname, ‘The Ravens, for the last three years and was welcomed into coaching, from the side-line. “My son started late in football and when he first started playing, I would teach him from the sideline,” said Anderson who is the father of two, Duncan L. Anderson III (Tre’), 12, Devyn Anderson, 8, and married to Melinda Anderson. “The coach said I looked like I knew what I was talking about and asked if I could come to help them coach…That was eight years ago. According to Anderson when he started as president of Loch Raven, they had about 120 kids and increased to 260 children last year.
“I have no doubt that the kids are going to come…A lot of people don’t know I left Loch to start my own program,” and Anderson in respond to the acknowledgement of Team Holy Dirt. “It’s not carrying an area brand, so we’re free to move around if needed. I think it’s going to be a good year having 160 kids this year, but by the next two years, we should blow up.” The Baltimore City Park and Recreation gave Team Holy Dirt North Harford Recreational Center at 6800 Hamlet Avenue (the old Northern Junior High School off Northern Parkway). Although most of the children who are registered is for the 7-9 grouping, Team Holy Dirt have all the age playing levels like all the HB teams; 5-6, 5-7 (tackling on a 40 yard field), 6-8 (on a 80 yard field), 7-9 (last year coaches on field with players on a 100 yard field), 8-10, 9-11, 10-12, 11-13, and with unlimited coming. “We’re looking forward in having an unlimited squad, but it’s a different program in itself because the kids need bigger equipment for their body size,” said Anderson. Unlimited players are kids normally in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade that are bigger than the average kids. The team mascot or nickname is, ‘The Disciples’, and you can’t forget the cheerleaders who are called, ‘The Lady Angels’. All the adults involved with Team holy Dirt ‘are volunteering’, including the coaches in which all of them have years of coaching experience – Todd Brown, Eddie Humes, Duke Williams, Rob Gaines, Tony Harrison, Eddie Majors, Kenyatta Bolton, Robert Venables, Angie Garland (cheerleaders), and of course, Anderson.
Anderson was an outstanding athlete himself as he played in the Old Town Football League and at Oliver Recreation Center along with all-time Green Bay Packers’ great, Antonio Freeman, who was inducted in the Packers’ Hall of Fame last month. Anderson went to play high school sports at Mervo where he participated in basketball, football and ‘tennis’. Anderson once was one of the best tennis players in Baltimore City, crediting his mother for teaching him. “My father wasn’t in my life so my mother only could teach me what she knew and tennis was my first sport,” said Anderson. “I got frustrated with tennis as a young guy…But when I got to high school, I picked tennis back up.”
In Anderson’s senior year, he was selected as all-Metro for basketball, football and tennis, winning the Maryland Kelly Award, as the best athlete in the state of Maryland in 1995. Anderson went to Virginia Union on a football scholarship and was a walk-on for the basketball team in which he red-shirted the first year. Anderson left school in his second year because he had a child (Tre), but finished his education at Maryland Bible College and Seminary where he played basketball for 4 years. Anderson earned a work-out with the New York Knicks, was sent to Venezuela to work with a point guard coach and that’s where he suffered the knee injury that ended his chances of becoming a professional athlete.
Anderson realized, shortly, that playing professionally wasn’t his true destiny, knowing that his faith in God would take him farther than professional sports could ever do. “God allowed that to happen,” said Anderson. “He wanted me to know He could get me to the next level, but He had a different mission for me and that was to work with kids and help raise this generation.”
Out of all things, fashion is the avenue in which The Lord has used to help Anderson toward his purpose. “I have a passion to design, create new,” said Anderson. “I guess God used fashion to get my attention. He knew I was big on fashion…I always been a different dresser when I was younger and I combined it with my passion for kids.” Anderson have been designing clothes for twelve years, starting, ‘The Dirty Brand’ and six years ago, he incorporated it with, ‘Holy Dirt’. Anderson’s line of clothing covers from causal to formal to shoes and his clothing business designed and manufactured Team Holy Dirt’s football and cheerleader uniforms.
The media is fueled by negativity and for the most part, it appears, news that isn’t negative, isn’t worth reporting, unless sponsorship dollars are involved. Anderson has reaching out to professional athletes (which he have been successful) and companies, but for now, he is creating opportunities to generate money for the football program and other community service ventures he’s in associated with. The local media can’t get every success story out, but they can do better and this should be an exception. If the local media still doesn’t come to help support something positive like Anderson’s achievements and many other unknown successes (with attempts made to notify the media), shame on them. “The media lives off negative and if you don’t have the big name, they don’t want to support you,” said Anderson. “But companies sponsors people and organizations that already have the money when the inner city organizations really need the finances and no one reaches out to them or they give them what they want to give and that’s it.”
Anderson is on the right path, recognizing the issues our inner city youth are facing being the right man at the right time. And Team Holy Dirt, which held their first practice on Saturday with over a hundred kids, is the first step to Anderson’s mission to help this generation. “My passion is to give a little bit of me to the kids in this community,” said Anderson. “I have a lot of kids who don’t have fathers and seventy percent of the kids in my program don’t know their father, never seen them. My goal is to help rise this generation.”