TSM: How sweet was it to bring Lake Travis its first state championship at the highest classification?
Coach Carter: It was awesome, man. It was extremely gratifying. Getting to watch the kids set a goal, and work towards it, and 19 weeks of practicing and studying football and schoolwork and workout and weights and all that to culminate with a state championship at about 11 o’clock in Cowboy Stadium was awesome. That’s one of the reasons that we coach and one of the reasons that we play the game. That was certainly a really special moment.
What can you say about the job Lake Travis Independent School District does in giving you the resources you need to run a successful high school football program?
Our school board and administration and community are tremendously supportive. We have great facilities. More than that our parents are sending us kids that are hard workers and unselfish and highly intelligent and talented. So all those things mixed together, we don’t have any excuses. We should do well with what we have.
Rivalries are one of the funnest aspects of sports. Y’all got a pretty good one with this Westlake/Lake Travis deal, which many consider the biggest regular season game in Central Texas. What are the benefits of having a rival like Westlake?
I think it’s just fun for the schools. It’s always been that way and now that we’re in the same district, it helps determine the district championship, it helps determine your playoff seeding in the first round, whether you get a home game or an away game. So, yea, I think the rivalry in itself is something that makes high school sports special, and they are a tremendous program. They’re nationally known and respected, and I think any time that we get the chance to play them at anything, whether it be football, volleyball, it’s big for both schools and that’s pretty awesome.
How do you feel about what y’all return on offense the season?
Well, we don’t return a lot of starters, but we have a lot of great kids in our program that are working their tails off right now, and they are looking for an opportunity to show what they can do. I’m excited about all the facets of our team this year. I think that our quarterback, Matthew Baldwin, I’m really excited to watch him develop. Obviously Garrett Wilson and Matthew Herrera, two returning starters from a year ago, and then we got a bunch of kids that people may not know their names yet, but they’re going to shortly. We’ve had a great fall camp so far and I love their attitude and the way that they’ve gone about coming out to practice everyday trying to get better.
How do you feel about the state of the defense with the season-opener right around the corner?
I think this year, defensively, by the time the coaches, we all get figured out where we play everybody, I think we’re going to have an awesome, awesome defense. Like a year ago, we’re having to shift some pieces around because of graduation, because of the body types that we have in the program. So we’re still trying to figure out where the best spot for everybody will be. But we got a ton of kids that are smart and gritty and tough and they’re excited to get out there and go run and chase that ball on Friday night so we’re looking forward to it.
You’re starting the season with two big-name opponents in Cibolo Steele and Converse Judson. Why do you go out and schedule these state-powers to start out the year?Well, a couple reasons. No.1, we are just trying to fill our schedule, to be honest with you. It’s pretty difficult for us to find teams that are willing to play, so that’s part of it. We don’t want to have to leave the state. We don’t want to have to drive halfway across the state more than once if we don’t have to. So we’re looking for quality opponents, and more than anything, we’re looking for, we want 10 in-state ballgames. So I’m excited about our non-district schedule. It’s four great teams, great programs. We had a long trip last year up to Dallas (to play Dallas Jesuit) and this year we’ll be going to Converse. Obviously, all four teams we play in non-district, they’re great, and we got our work cut out for us in all four of those games.
COVER FEBRUARY 2019
Final Show # 16 Thurs Dec 20th Championship Week.
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