Stillwater News Press

Sports Columns

July 8, 2014

The Holt Report: Carter made a difference on the field and in life

EDMOND, Okla. — As a Stillwater High assistant and head football coach, Rusty Atkins always stressed to his players the need to make a difference on the field but also in life.

“We always told them that football is a great game but we encouraged them to be the type of kid that makes a difference and is a positive influence everywhere,” said Atkins, who is SHS’s head track coach.

Blake Carter, Stillwater’s standout defensive back, took that message to heart. He made a difference on the field and in life. He not only left an impressive legacy as a Pioneer defensive back but also became an outstanding defensive back at the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated in 2010.

“Blake was one of those kids who lived that message. He was one of the kids that you wish you had 22 others just like him. He was just a loveable young man that I consider one of my kids and there’s just a few you can say that about,” said Coach Atkins.

Coach Atkins was devastated last week upon hearing the news that Lt. Carter, who was serving as a surface warfare officer on the USS Wasp, unexpectedly died at his home in Norfolk, Va., at 27 years of age.

His funeral is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sunnybrook Christian Church.

Carter, the son of Craig and Phyllis Carter, exhibited early signs that he had special potential in football.

“When he first came to me I knew he was going to be a D-I football player,” Coach Atkins noted. “He was such a quick learner and a very aggressive kid. He wanted to be the in-your-face type of defensive back. He was very disciplined and worked hard to make himself the best he could be.

“He was never an issue. He was early to meetings and usually stayed late. We had lunch together a lot of times and would watch film at that time. He was strong and had physical hands. When we had him on one side and Craig Andrus on the other we were pretty good on defense. I’d say he is probably in the top five best defensive backs we’ve ever had.”

Carter came from an athletic family. His father, Craig, played football at Oklahoma State and his brother, Brian, was a starting basketball player for the Pioneers. At Navy, he was a standout defensive back from 2006-2009, making 25 starts for the Midshipmen.

He played on Navy teams with a combined record of 35-18, won the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy four times and played in four bowl games.

“I really thought he might have an outside chance of making an NFL squad because he does make a significant difference,” Coach Atkins said.

“It’s just a huge loss. I’ve been really struggling since I got the phone call.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Stocks
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Must Read