By Brandyn Campbell, Player Engagement Insider
Even as the Davidson Day (North Carolina) Patriots closed the season to win its first state title at the Division 1 level, Jack Carter is already thinking about how he can increase his contributions to the team next year.
The team went undefeated for the first time in history before sealing the state championship at the highest division, a moment Carter describes as the proudest in his football career. The team reached the pinnacle of success, but that was the 2015 season. In 2016, they’re starting with the same record as everyone else. After each season, the playing field is leveled once again.
Carter is working hard this offseason to ensure that he can contribute even more to his team and positions. The 6’5, 250 DE and OT is working to increase his strength and his size. “It helps your game because when you’re stronger on the field, it will help you play, especially when you play D-line and O-line,” said Carter.
Nutrition is a critical component of any athlete’s regimen, and when working to refine a player’s form, it takes on even more significance. Carter currently eats 4,000 calories a day, focusing on healthy fats and proteins to help him add to his mass. He stays away from saturated fats, and instead focuses on foods such as nuts, eggs, fruit, and lean meats like turkey. Carter knows that getting bigger and stronger will only help get the attention of colleges, so he is working steadily to increase his weight in a healthy way.
Carter has played football since he was five years old and thoroughly loves the sport. “It's really fun,” Carter said. “Games are fun to play. It's really exciting. Other sports are fun as well but football is really different.” Its standing as the most popular sport in his school adds to his level of enthusiasm.
After his sophomore season, Carter was named to the Charlotte Observer’s All Observer High School Football’s 2nd team for the offensive line, an honor representing only the top players in the area. Carter’s team reached the pinnacle of success while he receives individual accolades. However, he knows that his work in the classroom is equally important.
Carter’s high level of achievement does not end on the football field. He has made the honor roll each quarter of his high school career and cites history and chemistry as his favorite subjects. During the season he can count on 12-hour days, so fitting in his academic obligations around his training schedule requires discipline.
“I make use of study hall, which helps a lot in getting work finished during school,” Carter said. “There are about 38 kids in my grade, so I’m able to get personal attention from teachers if I need help or have to miss class to travel to a game.”
In balancing obligations on and off the field, Carter credits his parents with keeping him focused on his priorities. “Playing at the next level is the ultimate goal, so if I get out of my lane I won't be on track,” Carter observed. “That's the ultimate goal--good education and playing football in college.”
Carter’s coaches also help push him to excellence, reminding him of the importance of his grades, as well as advice on life off of the gridiron, particularly with regard to one tricky technological endeavor. “They tell us not to do anything stupid, especially on social media.”
In addition to his existing academic and athletic obligations, which include a spot on the golf team this spring, Carter is leading an effort to help Davidson Day’s football team contribute to the wider community. He is connecting the football program with Pinky Swear, a national organization that works to support families of children with cancer. The team will adopt an “all-star”, which means that, “We’ll have him run on the field before a game, and work to get a corporate sponsorship to make a contribution every time we score a touchdown.”
As the Patriots seek to build upon their championship, they continue to build strength to push them further to achieve new goals. Carter’s success on the field, in the classroom, and in the community presents a picture of a young man who works hard at everything he does and takes nothing for granted. That characteristic has undoubtedly brought him to where he is now, and he hopes it will lead him towards his dreams for his collegiate career and beyond.