Carter earns kudos as Northside freshman|School nominates him for newspaper honor

Published 5:28 pm Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

PINETOWN — John Carter is only a few weeks into his freshman year at Northside High School, but he’s already making an impression on his teachers and fellow students.
Carter, the 14-year-old son of Angela Carter of Pinetown and Travis Carter of Washington, is happily settling into the high school routine after attending Bath Elementary School.
“This is my first year as a Panther and I’m happy I’m a Panther,” he said with a smile. “I’m here with several of my friends from Bath so I feel like I’m part of a team.”
Carter has also found a place on Northside’s football team and he’s passionate about the sport. So passionate, in fact, that he spent part of his summer walking the track on the school campus during football practice.
In the beginning, medical issues kept Carter from actively participating in the sport, but that didn’t stop him from supporting the team and its players. He’s now been okayed by his doctor to join the team, but teacher and cheer squad coach Kristy Christenberry said his devotion to the team began before he became a part of it.
“He has been at every practice and game volunteering his time and support to Northside High School,” Christenberry said when nominating Carter for the Teen Spotlight honor. “John takes on the responsibility to assist the first responders with filling up the water bottle and making sure all the players are well hydrated throughout practices and games. Northside is lucky to have such a responsible and respectful freshman on campus and we hope that John will encourage others to do the same.”
Louise Beirne, assistant cheer coach and first responder for the football team, agreed.
“He goes above and beyond what we ask of him,” Beirne said of Carter. “So many times, teenagers don’t do that. They do what they have to do to get by. And he’s always polite, always says hello and that is an inspiration to the other students.”
Carter has also been taking an interest in his health and is working hard to make improvements in that area.
“In my family there are some health problems, and I know if I don’t lose weight I’ll have them sooner or later,” he said. “Some parts I can change and losing weight is one of them. I watch what I’m eating, I’m eating more vegetables than I used to and I’m cooking a little bit better than I have in the past.”
His hard work and perseverance is already paying off. Carter proudly reported that he’s lost about 10 pounds since August.
Carter’s enjoyment of football began when he was attending Bath Elementary, and at Northside he’s been reunited with a favorite former coach, Keith Boyd.
“I was happy to come here because he’s coach here,” Carter said.
Boyd was equally complimentary of his young player.
“The team is very excited about John,” Boyd said. “I see of lot of team spirit because John is out there.”
Carter said he inherited his work ethic from his grandfather, John Byrd.
“My granddaddy was raised during the Depression so he set an example for me,” he said.
Along with his role in Northside’s football program, Carter is active in the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter and he hopes to try out for the baseball team. He also attends Asbury United Methodist Church, where he enjoys Sunday school and the youth group.
For now, Carter is enjoying life at Northside and is anticipating the rest of the football season.
“I’m not really just a number here,” he said. “People know me by name because it’s not that big a school. And I just like football — I like the sport of being able to go out and have fun. To me, it’s a fun sport, not just a way to make money.”
All about John Carter …