The general tendency of today’s youth is to act more laid back, relaxed and whimsical. More and more teenagers take the never-say-care approach toward practically everything in life.
Donte Carter, a junior at Hoboken High School, does not subscribe to that philosophy. He is in no way a blithe spirit.
“He’s the type of kid who is serious all the time,” Hoboken head football coach Lou Taglieri said. “When he comes to practice, it’s all about football and nothing else. That’s what he’s focused on and that’s what he wants to do. It’s actually refreshing and the other kids tend to feed off his seriousness. I love to see it. When he gets on the field, he’s there to get things done. He does things a different way than most.”
Taglieri said that intense attitude carries over into the regular school day as well.
“You see him walking in the hallways, going to class, and he has that rock face,” Taglieri said. “He’s very driven and very determined. And you never hear a word from him.”
Carter was asked about his serious approach to everything.
“I’m just very calm and don’t express myself much,” Carter said. “I take everything in my life to the field. I think my mother [Dinnenn] taught me to be like that. She talked to me about taking things seriously. She has made a big impact on me.”
The 5-11, 185-pound junior has been all business this season for the Red Wings, turning into the team’s featured back.
In the preseason, Taglieri said that there wasn’t one player who would carry the load for his team, but that has quickly changed with the emergence of Carter.
“He’s matured a lot and he’s become a lot better running the ball all season,” Taglieri said. “I knew it was only a matter of time before he would have a big game.”
That time came last weekend, when the Red Wings were facing Lincoln in a crucial battle for both teams. Lincoln had defeated the Red Wings in each of the last two seasons, with the Red Wings coughing up huge leads in each contest.
That idea played heavily in the minds of Carter, who is a Jersey City resident and a member of Hoboken’s “Schools Choice” program. Carter, who played Jersey City Recreation football, was friendly with a lot of the players on the Lincoln roster.
“I know a whole bunch of them and I knew this was a big game,” Carter said. “I wanted to play hard against them. I also knew that this was my year to shine. I knew we lost to them the last two years and I wanted to change that.”
Carter carried the ball 15 times for 118 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also caught a four-yard pass from quarterback Spencer Perez, giving him four TDs on the night in the Red Wings’ 28-20 victory, the 50th victory for Taglieri as a head coach.
For his efforts, Carter has been selected as The Hudson Reporter Athlete of the Week for the past week.
Taglieri likes the way Carter has developed as a running back.
“He’s more elusive than quick,” Taglieri said. “He carries out the fakes and makes the other team miss him. We always knew he had the ability. It was just a matter of when it all surfaced.”
Carter has performed almost totally under the radar this season, but he has scored a total of 13 touchdowns in six games.
“He’s been carrying the ball and he catches the ball,” Taglieri said. “He’s able to run the sweep well and the counter well. He’s playing halfback in a fullback-oriented offense [the Delaware Wing-T], but he’s making the most of his chances.”
Carter likes his role.
“I’m fitting in well and every time I get the ball, I try to do something with it,” Carter said. “I had confidence and I knew I could do it. Now, I’ve proven it.”
A fine student, Carter has aspirations to play in college.
“I want to play college football and getting good grades is important to do that,” Carter said. “My mother taught me that as well. I’m just trying to make her happy.”
And as for being the Red Wings’ resident “Mr. Serious?”
“It helps to be that way,” Carter said, “I don’t mind being known by that.” – Jim Hague Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.