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Carter's new crib

Former Screven receiver has new home at BA

    The Bulloch Academy Gators have a new weapon. His name is Carter, Darion Carter.
    Already holding down a No. 1 ranking in the Georgia Independent School Association coaches poll in football, BA (4-1) has a receiver that just might put them in the driver’s seat to make a go at the state title.
    Carter, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete has played just two games for the Gators, scoring five touchdowns — three receiving, one rushing and one on an interception return.
    Bulloch Academy was already a force to be reckoned with in GISA’s Class AA. The addition of Carter could mean trouble for not only the rest of the region, but the rest of the state.

The situation
    Carter didn’t begin the year as a Gator. The senior started the season in Sylvania at Screven County, where he was given preseason accolades by television station WTOC and where he set a school record for receiving yards (735) as a junior.
    But after Screven’s 34-13 loss to Statesboro, Carter began looking for a new place to play ball.
    “Some good things happened and some bad things happened,” he said. “I just had to get out of there. We just had an altercation. There was a tough altercation that came down one day and after that things just went the other way.”
    Carter, who played football and basketball at SCHS, was an All-State Honorable Mention at wide receiver as a junior.
    “We had a contact that told us Darion Carter was not playing anymore at Screven County High School,” said BA coach Clint Morgan. “So he came in and visited with us on a Tuesday morning. We got his transcripts and his discipline records just like we do for any other kid — football player or not — and we went through the admissions process. That following Friday he was admitted and started school on a Monday. We’re glad to have him.”
    Screven County coach Pat Collins could not comment on Carter’s decision to leave the Gamecocks. He did, however, acknowledge BA’s acquisition of one of the area’s top receivers.
    “Darion’s a good player,” said Collins. “There’s no doubt about that. I’m certainly glad that he’s latched on somewhere and is able to continue to play. He made some contributions to our team in the past. But we certainly have to move on and I’m glad he’s been able to do the same thing.”

Carter’s new crib

    Adjusting to small, private-school life has been easy, according to Carter, who still resides in Screven County. Carter came from a Georgia High School Association public school of Class AA size where around 100 kids come out for football. The Gators are thankful to dress 30 every week.
    At Screven, about half of Carter’s classmates were African-American. At BA, Carter’s the only black kid on the field.
    “I love it man,” said Carter of his new school. “I wouldn’t change nothing about it. The guys, they’re great. They’re great to be around.”
    Morgan added it’s no secret ethnicity is a lacking feature an the BA squad.
    “The guys love him,” said Morgan. “But it’s no secret — we don’t have a lot of black kids here. That’s not by design — it’s not what we like. But he comes in and the kids have taken to him and they love him to death.”

On the field
    Carter joined the Gators for the first time on Friday, Sept. 22 in a 36-7 win over Bethesda Day. He caught two touchdowns of 12 and 32 yards to help BA improve to 3-1. A week later he found the end zone on a 10-yard catch, ran one in from six yards out and returned an interception 40 yards as BA rolled 31-14.
    “I’ve played with good athletes before but I think this is the first receiver we’ve had with his type of ability,” said senior quarterback Jordan Walker. “He’s got speed, he can jump — he can out jump anybody on the field. It’s great to be able to just throw it up to him.”
    Carter’s addition is like adding two people to the BA roster, as the Gators have put Carter at cornerback as well as wide receiver.
    “He adds another dimension,” said Morgan. “We have several guys that have played well together for a long time and he comes in and kind of opens the door for a lot of other people, too. He’s not going to come in here and dominate a football game, but he has the ability of taking a game over at any time.”

The future
    Carter has received interest from plenty of colleges, including Western Michigan, Middle Tennessee State and Marshall. He said as long as he gets in somewhere he’ll be happy.
    As for his former teammates and coaches, he said he doesn’t harbor any hard feelings. He expects a lot of them to be at Gator Alley Friday during Screven’s off week as BA hosts Brentwood.
    “I’m pulling for (Screven) every week,” he said. “I’m a Gamecock for life.”
    
    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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