Small, but mighty

West Hants Mid­dle School ath­lete puts oth­ers ahead of his own goals

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY COLIN CHISHOLM HANTSJOURNAL.CA Colin.chisholm@hantsjournal.ca

Thir­teen-year-old Blake Car­son is shy, and a lit­tle bit shorter than some of his fel­low team­mates, but his ded­i­ca­tion to sport and to his fel­low ath­letes makes him shine on the court.

With ease, he drib­bles the ball be­tween his legs and takes shots at the bas­ket. He has the flow of a sea­soned vet­eran.

When asked what po­si­tion he plays, a big grin comes across Car­son’s face, as he ex­cit­edly says, “point guard.”

“You get to con­trol the plays. You can shoot, which is what I do,” Car­son said. “I shoot threes.”

He men­tions his abil­ity, not as a brag, but as a mat­ter of fact. He’s also not afraid to ad­mit that he’s work­ing on other as­pects of his tech­nique.

“Some­times, I’m just won­der­ing if I can make it, and some­times I don’t, I miss,” he said. “When that hap­pens, I just keep try­ing and if I can’t get my shot off, I’ll try some­thing else, maybe feed the ball to some­body else.”

The Wind­sor ath­lete is hop­ing to stick with sports when he heads to Avon View High School next year.

Pas­sion for sports

The Grade 8 stu­dent is in­volved with bas­ket­ball, soc­cer, vol­ley­ball, cross coun­try and track and field.

“In vol­ley­ball, I wasn’t very good be­fore, but I just kept prac­tic­ing and got bet­ter and bet­ter by the end of the sea­son,” he said. “I just love sports; it’s what I do the most. I just find it fun.”

Car­son plays sports ev­ery op­por­tu­nity he can — when the gym opens in the morn­ing be­fore class, he’s there. Re­cess? Check. Lunch? Yup. At home? Nat­u­rally. He’s al­ways at it.

“It’s not all sports. I like to get my home­work in; I try not to get on the home­work list so the teach­ers won’t be chas­ing me down,” he said. “I play games and hang out with my friends too.”

Car­son is cur­rently fo­cused on his favourite sport: bas­ket­ball.

He’s part of the school’s bas­ket­ball team, the Sabers, and an out­side league, the Shoot­ing Stars.

The school’s bas­ket­ball team’s sea­son was a mixed bag, with two wins and two losses, miss­ing the play­offs, but Car­son said the team learned a lot through the process.

But the Shoot­ing Stars, the other league he plays with, made it to provin­cials, which will be tak­ing place in Ken­net­cook in early March.

He has prac­tice sev­eral times each week, but he loves the sport so much, it doesn’t phase him.

It’s a lot of work, but for Car­son, it’s worth it.

Help­ing oth­ers

Jody Isenor, the phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher at West Hants Mid­dle School, said Car­son is an ideal stu­dent be­cause he puts oth­ers ahead of him­self.

“He’s a very in­ter­est­ing stu­dent ath­lete,” Isenor said. “He’s in a class with some stu­dents who have some phys­i­cal needs and sports aren’t in their com­fort zone, and he ac­tu­ally wants to have those stu­dents on his team so he can make sure they’re in­cluded.”

Isenor said Car­son has the skills to dom­i­nate on the court if he wanted to, but would rather make sure every­one feels in­cluded.

She added, “It’s re­ally heart­warm­ing to see that.”

She said it’s a sign of ma­tu­rity, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing his age.

“You look at him and he seems so small, but his kind­ness and his com­pas­sion just go well above and be­yond what you’d ex­pect of a stu­dent at this level,” she said.

“He hits three (point­ers) like he could do it in his sleep; he’s a nat­u­ral. He’s a great shooter, great passer, sees the floor re­ally well, and he’s think­ing about his team­mates. He’ll only take shots when he’s open and is just a nice com­bi­na­tion.”

Isenor said she sees Car­son con­tin­u­ing with sport into high school and be­yond.

“With his ded­i­ca­tion, any­thing he does or tries, he could suc­ceed at be­cause he’s so pas­sion­ate,” she said. “I hope he grows a lit­tle bit more, but it cer­tainly hasn’t held him back.”

For Isenor, she also sees Car­son as some­one the other kids can look up to.

“He walked in this morn­ing and all the kids were like ‘Blake, Blake, you’re on our team,’ they all want him on their team,” she said. “He’s a nat­u­ral leader. I don’t think it’s some­thing he as­pired to be, he’s just a leader. He leads by ex­am­ple.”

And that, she says, makes him an ideal ath­lete.

“That’s so great, be­cause there are some kids that are awe­some ath­letes, but re­ally strug­gle on the sports­man­ship side,” she added. “Their at­ti­tude can get in the way, but for Blake, that’s where he ex­cels.”

COLIN CHISHOLM

Blake Car­son is cur­rently fo­cused on bas­ket­ball, but he also is in­volved with vol­ley­ball, soc­cer, cross coun­try and track and field.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Blake Car­son is in­volved with mul­ti­ple sports at West Hants Mid­dle School, but his big­gest pas­sion is bas­ket­ball.

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