A Touch of the Divine in the Form of a High School Quarterback – The Bolles School’s Chandler Carr

22 04 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

Chandler Carr

Those that say chivalry is dead haven’t met Chandler Carr, junior at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.

As much a Southern gentleman as one might find living in the twenty-first century — he answers questions with a very respectful “yes, sir” or “no, sir,” is an avid fan of country music, and is, unlike his two oldest siblings, a true fan of the Florida Gators — Chandler exemplifies the romanticism of the Old South, and is mindful — almost to a fault — of a proud Christian family tradition of humility and helping others.

One gets the sense in talking to the Carr family that if, given the proper opportunity, Chandler might very well end up a prominent force in a local St. John’s County Baptist congregation — perhaps someone heading up the church’s benevolence fund, becoming intimately involved in ministering to middle and high school youth, or leading fellow Christian followers on missionary trips abroad.  Christ, after all, rings true in all that the Carr family represents; and the youngest child of a blended family comprised of three other older half-brothers, Chandler is very much the sheep the fold doesn’t expect to stray far from the flock.

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Elite 11 Quarterback Camp – Ft. Worth, Texas

15 04 2009

A freelantz contribution; written by Jessica Lantz

Published by Athlon Sports on April 15, 2009

9351_groupApproximately 75 of the region’s best young quarterbacks, along with their families, coaches and other supporters arrived on the TCU campus on April 4 to show off their skills at the Fort Worth EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp. Each player arrived on the 82 degree spring day with a sparkle in their eye, a spring in their step and a football in hand in the hopes of impressing the camp’s staff members, media and spectators, and-of course-their fellow participants.

Some participants were seen early on heading to the TCU Horned Frogs’ Amon G. Carter Stadium before heading over to the practice field, perhaps to envision themselves as the starting quarterback for a Top-25 program. Yet, after arriving at their final destination — the TCU practice facilities — and checking in with the staff awaiting their arrival, it was time to get to work with warm-ups and instructions and then by breaking off into small groups. Then, everyone moved through various indoor and outdoor stations to show off their skill sets and receive constructive criticism from the staffers. The drills had the athlete work on speed, agility, decision-making, route running, listening to instructions, accuracy and strength of body, arm and mind. All of which took place at a fast and rotating pace, ensuring that everyone was alert, attentive and at their best for the duration of the two-hour workout.

Although the pace was furious, the prep stars excelled in these drills, with few faltering and all giving 100 percent effort throughout the exhausting day. And even when shortcomings and opportunities for improvement were pointed out to the athletes, the spoken words of advice were taken to heart not only to improve and impress, but also to convert the dream of playing collegiate football into a reality.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the standouts on the day:

Trae Davis, the gunslinger for Mexia H.S. took the honors of winning the Golden Gun Accuracy Award at the camp. The award was given after the entire field of competitors was narrowed down to the five most accurate performers on the day. These young men then faced off head-to-head to see who could end the day hitting their stationary targets. After participating in the challenge and being required to take it to a ‘throw-off’, Davis actually stuck a ball into the final target, securing his victory and bringing aahhs to the crowd. Davis threw for 1,801 yards and 17 touchdowns in his junior season for the Black Cats. Read the rest of this entry »

Elite 11 Quarterback Camp – Ft. Worth, Texas – Photo Journal P

15 04 2009

A freelantz submission; All photographs property of PRISM/freelantz
Photos may not be used without permission

Sampling of photographic work from Elite 11 Camp on April 4, 2009.


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The Fight to Save Driscoll . . .

9 04 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

Citing falling enrollment and dwindling finances, Driscoll Catholic High School in Addison, Illinois — a program which has won seven consecutive Class 4A state championships under two different coaches (doing so by an average of four touchdowns each time) and compiled an overall record of 92-6 since 2002 — is closing its doors at the end of this school year, reports the Chicago Tribune.

It is a “very, very difficult” decision, notes Brother Kevin Convey, Director of Education for the institution, who is a member of the order of Christian Brothers of the Midwest.  Yet, families which can afford the 43 year-old academy’s $8,000-a-year tuition have grown scarcer over time, Convey suggests.   At the same point, public and private elementary schools in the local area acting as a pipeline for Driscoll have also suffered a significant decline in overall enrollment.driscollhs

“Be assured that we did not come to this decision lightly or quickly,” a letter from Bishop Francis Carr, provincial of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, addressed to parents read late last week, the Tribune states.

Doug Delaney, an official of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, backs Bishop Carr’s assessment, telling The Naperville Sun, “This has been a topic of discussion for several months.  The enrollment of the school has declined significantly and I think the economic downturn certainly hasn’t helped the situation.”  Delaney continues, adding that on a personal level, “The decision is gut wrenching.  It’s probably the worst thing you have to do is to close a school or close a parish.”

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Coach Rod Baker Named to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2009

4 04 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

On Saturday, March 28, 2009, Rod Baker, NATS Michigan State Director and Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator for Riverview High School, was, along with thirteen of his colleagues, inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

In recognition of this tremendous honor, NATS took a moment to speak with Coach Baker and talk with him about his feelings on being named to the MHSFCA Hall of Fame, his take on the current state of high school football recruitment, and his opinion on the role that NATS plays in the lives of student-athletes within the broader scope of the recruiting process.

rod_baker_hof_200NATS: Coach Baker, describe your feelings heading into the next few weeks, knowing that you’ll be entering the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame?

Baker: Very excited, a little nervous.

NATS: What was the reaction of your family to the news that you’d be entering the MHSFCA Hall of Fame?

Baker: They were really pumped up! Very happy for me and eager to be involved.

NATS: Is there a current member of the Hall of Fame that you consider an inspiration? If so, who and why?

Baker: I coached for four men who are in the Hall of Fame: Mike Pascuzzi at Wyandotte, Jack Castignola at Trenton, Jim Buttson at Woodhaven and Jeff Stergalas at Fordson and now at Riverview. All four have been instrumental in my coaching and teaching careers.

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Coach Tim Dougherty Named to the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2009

4 04 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

Ask Tim Dougherty how he feels about his being named to the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame, and you’ll hear a very unselfish reply: It’s a culmination of a lot of players and coaches . . . a great badge hung for me that serves as a summation of the last 30 years of coaching a great team sport.

tim_dougherty_hof_200It’s the kind of response you’d expect from a man who will tell you almost instantaneously that his life revolves around those he’s learned from, those he’s coached, and, of course, the game of football itself.

Family has also been key in terms of Dougherty finding success; as such, his being named to the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame is as much a celebration of those he loves the most and the perseverance they’ve showed throughout the duration of his culminating a beloved pastime as it is recognition of past accomplishments. These are the people that sacrificed, that moved from small-town to big-city, that endured the ups-and-downs of state championship seasons and first-year coaching assignment which saw Dougherty finish a disappointing 1-8. Family is where a young sophomore at Edwardsville High School in 1994 engaged the difficult task of existing as both an up-and-coming all-state quarterback who would later play at the University of Missouri and someone constantly reminded that he was, before anything else, a son to the school’s head football coach. It’s the foundation upon which a daughter would work to become a cheerleader for the same program her father was employed by. It is the entity that served as a much-needed escape from the year-round demands of coaching winning football programs — even in those times when winning seemed the furthest thing from reality.

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Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp – Orlando, Florida

8 03 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts, with all photos original works by the author


The 60+ young men who arrived at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning, March 1st, expected to be greeted with warm sunshine, excellent field conditions, and the opportunity to further their skills in an attempt to become regarded as one of the next highly-touted quarterback prospects to be recruited by a prominent NCAA program coming out of high school.

Within moments after stepping out onto the grounds, however, it quickly became apparent that only the latter would end up being the case – for once those participating in the first EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp for 2009 hit the field, they were met with unseasonal low temperatures, gusty winds, and, on more than one occasion, a passing cloud burst.

That high school quarterbacks from throughout the state of Florida and beyond would end up damp and shivering before noon was a foregone conclusion, even before the first horn signaling the start of the camp was ever blown.  Yet, such physical setbacks would ultimately be fought through, as even the elements which sent parents and press scattering in all directions to find cover couldn’t deflate the spirits of those who came to learn from some of the best talent in football today, including former University of Florida quarterback Chris Leak and current back up to Tim Tebow in Gainesville, John Brantley.  Feet might slip on the grass, grips might fail to maintain control of the ball, and winds made accuracy futile; still, these young men came to learn and show what they were made of, and nothing – even some bad weather – was going to prevent them from doing so.

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