Carter going back to the future

When Carter High School was opened in 2004, the Lions were placed in the San Andreas League. After another year in the SAL, Carter was moved into the CBL, from where it qualified for the playoffs three times in four years. Now the Lions are back where they started, joining back up with their original league.

“We are looking forward to it,” Carter coach Alex Pierce said. “In looking around this league, the first thing you notice are the athletes. There are just so many athletic football players in this league that it’s going to be a fun challenge. It should be fun watching some of these games.”

Carter comes into the league after a positive second season under Pierce, improving from 2-8 in 2008 to 5-6 in 2009. With another year in his system, Pierce believes that Carter will continue to motor in the right direction.

“I’ve definitely noticed a difference,” Pierce said. “The kids have bought in and are more confident and I think making the playoffs last year sort of gives them an idea of the success they can have if they keep working hard. We’ll be young, but I like the talent and potential that we possess.”

The Lions only return eight starters, with the bulk of those returners being skill-position athletes. Carter will have stability at quarterback though, as junior Bryan Harper (6-0, 178) returns after throwing for 1,242 yards and seven touchdowns and running for another seven scores. His primary target will likely be senior wide receiver Kwante Ward (5-10, 168).

Besides Harper’s scrambling, the running game will be in flux, as the Lions lose running back Damian Robinson and the bulk of their offensive line. Pierce is high on seniors Rory Colbert (5-9, 155) and Ahmad Jones (5-10, 180) at RB with senior Ivan Grano (5-11, 255) anchoring the offensive line. The Lions are also high on sophomore left guard Kenneth Clark (6-2, 267).

Carter is pretty stout in its front seven, with Clark likely to play nose tackle and junior Brandon Chelette (5-11, 230) to get time at defensive end. Josh Trotter (5-7, 175) and Stephen Reneau (6-1, 215) return at linebacker. Secondary could be a sore point for the Lions early, as they are looking to replace all-CIF safety Ryan Coleman.

Carter 2010 schedule (Home games in CAPS, * indicates league game)

Sept. 10 – ALTA LOMA
Sept. 17 – SILVERADO
Sept. 24 – NORTE VISTA
Oct. 1 – at Colton*
Oct. 8 – SAN GORGONIO*
Oct. 15 – PACIFIC*
Oct. 22 – at Rialto*
Oct. 29 – SAN BERNARDINO*
Nov. 5 – at Cajon*
Nov. 12 – at Arroyo Valley*