Michael Carter’s future is bright. Navarre’s talented senior running back is headed to North Carolina next fall to play college football for the Tar Heels.
Yet, his mind wasn’t on his future late Friday night in the wake of the Raiders’ 35-14 loss to Lake Gibson in a 6A state semifinal at Bennett C. Russell Stadium.
“My mind was on winning a state championship,” Carter said. “It’s hard to come up short. Anytime you lose it’s tough. But we don’t have anything to be disappointed in. We fought until the end.”
Carter is everything you want a great high school football player to be. He works hard, he’s a leader and he puts the team before himself. He’s also a class act off the field.
“It’s never about me. It’s all about the guys I played with and enjoying every moment,” Carter said.
Carter came back as strong as ever this year after having his season cut short a year ago when he suffered a devastating knee injury.
He rushed for a school record 2,534 yards and set the school record for touchdowns in a season with 41. Carter caught two TD passes and returned two kickoffs for scores. He even threw a TD pass this season.
Career-wise, Carter ends his run with the Raiders as the all-time leading rusher with 4,538 yards. His 69 TDs is a school record.
“I’ve been blessed and I’m blessed that I was able to play with my teammates for four years, especially the seniors,” Carter said. “And to play with my brother (Josh), you can’t beat that. There is nothing like high school football.”
Carter was among the 31 seniors on the Raiders’ roster to help put Navarre on the brink of a trip to the state championship game for the first time in program history.
Navarre head coach Jay Walls can’t say enough about the efforts of his upperclassmen during one of the most special seasons in program history. The Raiders finish the year at 12-2, which ties the mark for the most wins in a season at the school.
“Our seniors have been outstanding,” Walls said. “Their dependability and commitment and willingness to push themselves and each other has been great all year. They’ve done lot for this program.”
Read more in the Dec. 8 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.