Something cool happened this week that should make Navarre proud.
Two of its former standouts are on the same watch list.
Colorado State wide receiver Dante Wright and North Carolina Michael Carter are both in the running for the Paul Hornung Award. It goes to the most versatile college athlete in the nation.
Carter was a senior and Wright was just a sophomore when they were teammates at Navarre in 2016.
I still remember the September night at Choctaw when Wright overcame an early-game fumble and went on to catch seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.
After that game, Carter called Wright incredible and said he’s going to college for free.
It turned out to be a prophetic quote by the all-time leading rusher in Navarre history.
Who knew that four years later the two would share the spotlight on an award watch list?
Both are deserving of the honor.
A Doak Walker Award candidate as well, Carter is heading into his senior season. He is already established as one of the most productive running backs in Tar Heels history. He went over 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in his career a year ago, earning All-ACC honors, and is on pace to finish among the top 10 all-time in rushing.
Carter rolled up 1,623 all-purpose yards, including 154 receiving yards. He also churned out 466 yards on kick returns. He also scored five touchdowns, including three on the ground.
Wright was an All-American last season after catching 57 passes for 805 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for more than 200 yards and averaged 7.1 yards per punt return while finishing his freshman campaign with 1,154 all-purpose yards.
Both players bring a lot to the table and both are going to play key roles in the success their teams have this season.
And even if neither wins the honor, it’s still another example of the talent Navarre produces when it comes to football.
The state of football
The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty like we’ve never seen before.
No one knows when the high school season will start for sure. All that’s known at the moment is the first day of fall practice is scheduled for Aug. 24. And even that isn’t set in stone yet.
At the college level, the writing is on the wall that NCAA Division III fall sports will be canceled. As of early Friday afternoon, only 113 of the 247 D-III teams in the nation had not canceled their season yet. The NCAA Board of Governors is recommending the fall sports championships be canceled because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile in NCAA Division II, the Gulf South Conference announced Thursday it is pushing back the start of the fall season to the last week of September or the first week of October. It will also only play conference games. That impacts reigning national football champion University of West Florida, which is set to enter its fifth year of competition this fall.
In the News
Be sure to check out the Navarre Press this week for a feature on the Raider baseball seniors. My column focuses on the continued uncertainty of the high school sports season. There is also a story on Lighthouse Private Christian Academy adding lacrosse, a growing sport in this region. Be sure to check it out. You can subscribe to the Navarre Press by clicking here.
On this Day in Sports History
Pete Rose ties the National League hitting streak of 37 games on July 24, 1978. The Cincinnati Reds legend goes on to stretch that streak to 44 games. It ends Aug. 1.
Carl Yastrzemski belts the 400th home run of his career on July 24, 1979. He played the entire 23 years of his career in Boston and finished with 452 homers.
On July 24, 2005, Lance Armstrong retires after winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France. He is later disqualified in 2012 because of doping.
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