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Family, jazz and God fuel K-M's versatile Quincy Carter
Quincy Carter, Kent-Meridian High School's 6-foot, 190-pound quarterback strikes an intimidating presence despite his lanky frame.
But the soft-spoken Kent-Meridian senior's stature belies a family oriented and devout student who turns to God first when looking for help with a situation.
"When I was younger my family taught me you can work through anything with prayer," Carter said. "He'll help you with anything."
It was former K-M quarterback David Jones, a 2011 graduate, who inspired Carter to become a better leader. "How fast and how much of a leader he was, he inspired me to be a more vocal leader without the pads on."
The emerging Carter and the improving Royals (1-3 South Puget Sound League North 4A) return to action against SPSL South's Spanaway Lake (0-4) Saturday. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at French Field.
Carter and K-M put a scare into rival Kentwood before bowing in overtime last Friday, 28-27.
It has been a learning experience for Carter. He had to grow up quickly during his sophomore year. It's not everyday you become the starting quarterback of your high school football team as a sophomore, and it's a difficult position to play if the team isn't behind you 100 percent. And he certainly proved himself, putting down more than 1,300 yards during that season and almost 2,000 during his junior year.
It's easy to assume that a quarterback might dig into some heavy, grinding music before a game to get pumped up, but Carter says that it's just the opposite. He discovered during his freshman year that "listening to too much harsh music got (him) too excited and edgy."
Instead he swapped out the hard rock and rap for motivational speeches and jazz music while he reviews college games and tries to put himself in the quarterback's shoes.
His sophomore year forced him to mentally and physically mature to buck the title of "the kid after David."
With that maturity came developing leadership abilities and finding his style of leadership on the team. He's instilled that in his fellow seniors to ensure that his successors will be capable and mature as he is.
"We've been in this program for a year, we have to be more vocal leaders," Carter said. "More of a positive brother figure and role model."
While he's a talented athlete, Carter doesn't see a future in professional sports and is looking at following in his parent's footsteps by becoming a teacher.
"I love working with kids, always have, something I feel good about that I can do easily. Plus kids are just great to work with," he said with a chuckle.
Several colleges are courting him for football, but he's most interested in the schools that will give him enough space to be his own man, but still be close so he can see his brother and sister.
"Just anyone that would give me good education, play ball and be close to home," he said. "Any school that's close to home, just enough so that I can have my own space, not feeling like my parents are still over me, but close enough so that if my brother needs me or sister needs me I can get back to school the next day."
When he's not studying for international baccalaureate classes, at practice or at church, Carter spends the rest of his time with one of his cousins or "brothers on my football team." Otherwise he'll be at home watching superhero cartoons with his brother. It's hard for him to choose a favorite, but when pressed he'd go with Superman.
"He's an iconic superhero, a fatherly and brotherly hero that people can look up to," Carter said.