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Edgewater’s Chase Carter and Lake Brantley’s Braxton Woodson aren’t exactly getting their doors knocked down by college recruiters. For the two quarterbacks, however, that’s OK.

They aren’t concerned about college recruiters. They are far more concerned about leading their teams to a state title. The way they are playing right now, it certainly does not sound out of the question.

Edgewater plays in the Class 3A-Metro class while Brantley is Class 4A-Metro.

Carter has led Edgewater to a 4-0 record entering Friday, and although he doesn’t have gaudy numbers, the leadership is obvious. Sure, the Eagles have all-everything running back Cedric Baxter to score most of the touchdowns, but Carter is the main cog that keeps the gears spinning.

“Obviously, being the quarterback is pretty important,” Carter laughed. “The team plays off my energy, so playing good or playing bad, either way, it’s all about having a good attitude towards it and having that winning spirit.”

He makes sure the players are lined up the way they are supposed to be on every play, especially the offensive line. The Eagles has so many new sets this season that Carter has to get everyone on the same page.

“I’m helping with just relaying the calls and helping people get lined up,” Carter said. “That’s a big part of our offense and I’ve taken pride in approaching that as a main aspect in the offense.”

He also takes care of the football. Carter has not thrown an interception in 50 attempts, and he has rushed for more yards than he’s thrown. He’s the team’s second-leading rusher and he has lost just two fumbles in the four games.

His confidence has risen to a different level. It might be because this year it’s his team. Last season he shared duties with senior Tyler Wesley, a transfer from Tohopekaliga.

“I don’t feel like I’ve played my best this year,” Carter said. “But as a leader and my role on the team, I feel like the friendships I’ve built over the four years have culminated into this. So, it’s not a surprise that the leadership is good and we all have good team spirit.”

His coach Cameron Duke has been instrumental in his growth.

“Me and Coach Duke have really good talks, both about football and just real life,” Carter said. “That helps me on and off the field and it helps me on the team as a leader, to be a good friend and good teammate.”

Carter, who carries a 4.0 GPA (4.9 weighted), is looking at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh or Davidson (N.C.) College. Since his recruiting has gone slow, he decided to look into some academic institutions that have shown interest.

Woodson, who has been similarly recruited or recruited as an option quarterback, running back or receiver because of his speed and athletic ability, has verbally committed to play for Navy. He wants to play quarterback, his true love. The pledge to Navy, however, hangs in the balance should something else come along. All committments at this point are non-binding until the early signing period in December.

Woodson also is a true leader and he will take over a game whenever he considers it’s necessary.

“I feel pretty good about it, and coach [Skip Clayton] has really helped me in this role,” he said. “He pushed me to be in this role and helped me with things like leadership. … I feel I’ve stepped into that role pretty well and it’s all to help my team and get us to where we want to go.”

It’s Woodson’s second season as Brantley’s starting quarterback and he has taken charge of the Patriots’ triple option. Brantley is off to a 3-1 start, with the loss coming in the opener when it squandered a 21-6 halftime lead against Oviedo and lost 26-21.

Woodson’s biggest game as the Brantley leader came Saturday against rival Lake Mary. Trailing 21-14, he took his team on a 94-yard drive that looked unlikely at the time. But Brantley had Woodson, who ran for 60-plus yards on the game-winning drive to bring Brantley to within 21-20 with just over three minutes left.

It was decision time, but it was a no-brainer. The Pats were going for the two-point conversion and the victory.

After a pair of timeouts, Woodson took the snap and carried the ball around the right end to give Brantley the winning margin 22-21.

“I kind of realized that if I didn’t do it, then it wasn’t going to get done,” Woodson said of the game-winning drive. “I had to step up to that role … and just kind of be that guy in the moment and help lead my team to the victory.”

Being a second-year starter has done wonders for Woodson’s game.

“Oh, it’s helped me a lot. Last year I don’t think I was as confident as I could have been,” he said. “I wasn’t as sure of myself playing in the game, but this year, with the help of Coach Skip, I’ve been more confident in playing to the best of my abilities.”

It’s easy to understand why recruiters label Woodson as a running or dual-threat quarterback. He has said all along that he wants to play quarterback and that’s why he headed to Navy. He was offered by all service academies and carries a 3.8 GPA.

“It doesn’t bother me that they consider me a runner because that’s all they see on file,” Woodson said of his team’s triple-option offense, “But when I’m given the chance and the opportunity, I feel that I am a quarterback and I can definitely throw the ball as well as anybody out there.”

He leads the Patriots in rushing with 499 yards and 9 touchdowns on 51 carries. He has thrown the ball just 33 times for 220 yards but has no interceptions and has lost only one fumble.

“Most schools are recruiting me as a dual-threat quarterback,” he said, “and I’m just focused on playing quarterback.”

Together, the pair seem to be getting the short end of the recruiting stick, but things could turn around.

For now its “State Championship or Bust.” If they pull off that feat, plenty of attention will come their way.

This article originally appeared on Chris Hays covers high school football, college football recruiting, the NFL and the Orlando Magic for the Sentinel. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @OS_ChrisHays.


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Celtics Insider Reveals Unexpected Fallout of Ime Udoka Situation

Getty Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are in the eye of a storm right now, as the team continues to deal with their current head coaching situation.

Boston’s front office has taken the decision to suspend Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season, and will be making a decision on his long-term future with the franchise over the coming months after the head coach violated ‘multiple organizational policies.’

According to NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, the Celtics could yet be faced with an emotional fallout within their locker room after the situation regarding Ime Udoka became public on September 22.

"It's remarkable to me just how this has stung them."@ChrisForsberg_ joins Arbella Early Edition to discuss the 'emotional toll' that was visible throughout the Celtics organization during the team's press conference this morning.

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 23, 2022

“You could tell there has been an emotional toll that has been taken throughout the organization. You can tell an off-season with so much optimism has now been diminished, and now there’s an uncertainty moving forward…It’s remarkable just how much (this situation) has stung them,” Forsberg said on September 23.

Boston’s players will face the media for the first time since the Udoka situation went public on Monday, September 25, on what has been scheduled as the team’s media day.

Brad Stevens Rules Out Coaching Return

When news of Udoka’s suspension originally broke, fans across the world were anticipating Brad Stevens’ potential return to the sidelines, which considering his previous success as the team’s head coach, made perfect sense.

However, it would seem that Stevens has ruled out his return to coaching, as he believes Joe Mazzulla is the perfect person to lead the Celtics through this difficult period and into the new season.

“Joe’s the best choice to do that (take the role as head coach) by a long shot. As you go through this whole process, it hits you, but I think we have the best people in place to do that, and Joe is the best person to do that in our organization…Absolutely not (would he consider taking over as head coach)…There are a lot of factors at play as to why I wouldn’t necessarily want to do that, but I’ve told Joe that I’m going to be there for him without stepping on his toes,” Stevens explained.

Brad Stevens talks about whether he considered coaching the #Celtics

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 23, 2022

Stevens has been exceptional in his new role as President of Basketball Operation and has spent the past 12 months molding the Celtics roster into what he considers to be a championship-caliber team. As such, it makes sense that he would prefer to continue in his new role and allow an aspiring young coach the opportunity to take their next step into the head coaching ranks.

Danilo Gallinari Offers Encouraging Update

Outside of Ime Udoka’s recent suspension, the Celtics have also been dealing with some pre-season injury issues, which began with recently-acquired forward, Danilo Gallinari suffering an ACL injury while playing in the FIBA Eurobasket competition for Italy. 

On Friday, September 23, Gallinari released a personal statement to Celtics fans, explaining that he had undergone successful surgery on his injury and that he hopes to return to the court ‘soon’.

“Yesterday I had successful ACL surgery. Now the focus is on my rehab and returning to the game I love. I want to thank the Celtics organization and medical staff at the New England Baptist Hospital. I also want to thank Dr. Antonio Orgiani and Dr. Rodolfo Rocchi for the support they gave me in Italy before my surgery. And of course, thank you to all my fans for their continued support and well wishes…See you soon on the court,” Gallinari wrote.

Now focus on my rehab ????????????#Celtics #ATuttoMotore #injury #rehab

— DANILO GALLINARI (@gallinari8888) September 23, 2022

Gallinari participated in 66 games for the Atlanta Hawks last season averaging 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 38.1% from deep – and it was that outside scoring that made him such a desirable free-agent pick-up for Boston this summer. Hopefully, Gallinari can make a full recovery from his most recent injury and we will see him back on the court before the season ends.


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