Carson High’s Abel Carter capped off a sensational junior season by being named Sierra League Player of the Year, Co-Regional Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league linebacker.
It’s the third time in three years a Carter has been Sierra League Player of the Year. The previous two years Abel’s older brother, Asa, won the award.
Carter did everything for the Senators, who lost several key players, all starters, before and during the season. He returned kick-offs, played linebacker (70 tackles), played some quarterback and did what he does best, run with the football from tailback and wingback.
The talented junior scored 27 touchdowns, 24 on the ground, two on interception returns in the same game (Desert Mountain) and one on a pass reception. He also threw for a score. All told, he accounted for more than 2,000 yards.
“Nice,” Carter said when informed of his honors. “It’s what I’ve been working for. I feel pretty good about what I did. I did what I set out to do. My teammates were a big help.”
Carter won the Sierra League POY over Damonte QB Cade McNamara, who was named the Sierra League Offensive Player of the Year. Reno’s Brandon Kato was the High Desert Player of the Year and the Regional Player of the Year.
“It’s a very well deserved honor (for Abel),” Carson head coach Blair Roman said. “He had a great year. Abel was disappointed in how we finished, and I know him; he would have traded some of what he did to win the league and regional title. He’s such a humble kid.”
Carson kicker Johnny Barahona and cornerback/safety Spencer Rogers also earned first-team all-league and regional honors.
Barahona went 10 of 12 on field goals this year, including four from more than 40 yards. He also averaged 55 yards on kick-offs. Rogers garnered 91 tackles, tops on the team.
Racking up first team all-Sierra honors were Brandon Gagnon (punter), Bryceton Schilling (offensive line) and Sheldon Miller (defensive line). Gagnon averaged 33 yards a punt, Schilling anchored a strong offensive line that was averaging almost 400 yards a game until quarterback Jace Keema was sidelined by a season-ending foot injury. Miller had 59 tackles, a sack and five QB hurries.
Running back Tyler Huling, whose strong blocking paved the way for many big gains by Carter, was a second-team pick. He rushed for 78 yards and a score, and caught 11 passes for 139 yards and two scores.
Also making the second team were wide receiver Luke Myers, who had 14 catches for 230 yards and a score, Miller on the offensive line, and Josh Thompson was a pick at both defensive end and tight end. Also picked were Gagnon as a defensive back (42 tackles, 7 passes defensed, 1 interception) and linebacker Justin Tschetter, who racked up 61 tackles and a caused a fumble before suffering a season-ending injury against Damonte. Blaise Bonomo, who had 18 tackles, also was honored.
“Josh played a lot of football for us,” Roman said. “Sheldon had to play a lot both ways this year.”
Keema, who rushed for 319 yards and three scores, and passed for 489 yards and six scores, before the season-ending injury; center Brandon Macias, a first-year starter at center for CHS, and Rogers, who gained 238 yards rushing and 63 yards receiving were named honorable mention. Bonomo was honored for his offensive line play.