Up & Coming Weekly

October 24, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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28 UCW OCTOBER 25 - 31, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Pine Forest football coach Bill Sochovka has an unusual description for the kind of speed star Trojan running back Lavonte Carter displays. He calls it "skinny fast." Here's how Sochovka explained it: "Our holes don't have to be massive where his complete body has to go through the hole. As long as he's got a gap, he's got the ability to get skinny in that hole.'' It's once he gets in the hole that Carter shows his most impressive skill. "As soon as he's in the hole, he elevates his speed from gear one to gear three quick,'' Sochovka said. "When he breaks through the hole, he's already in the secondary before you think about it. He can also slow his pace, get skinny, and then explode into the next gear.'' E.E. Smith got a taste of that recently on a late run by Carter that set Pine Forest up for a game-winning field goal. That win pulled the Trojans into a three-way tie for first place in the Patriot Athletic Conference with three regular season games left. Not a bad rebound after starting the season 0-3 and allowing 40 or more points in two of those losses. "Our offense went from sputtering to ... putting up big numbers,'' Sochovka said. "I'm not a real smart guy, but when you have a back who has over 1,000 yards and over 100 per game, you don't change that.'' Through games of Oct. 13, Carter is Cumberland County's only 1,000-yard rusher with 1,018 yards, 14 rushing touchdowns and 127.3 yards per game. "I have a lot to prove,'' Carter said. He felt the Trojans made a big point with their win over E.E. Smith. "Everybody kept doubting us, saying we were going to lose,'' he said. "We had to prove them wrong.'' Solving the early losing streak was a matter of finding chemistry and playing as a team, he said. As for the rest of the season, Carter hopes to continue to run like former USC star Reggie Bush did during his college days with the Trojans. "I like the way he cuts, the way he runs,'' he said. "I compare myself with him.'' Like Carter, the Trojans have something to prove in the Patriot Conference. Sochovka hopes they have turned the corner. "I was worried about win- ning games to keep us afloat,'' Sochovka said. "The most important thing I was worried about was us coming together. We are getting better very week.'' "Skinny fast" Carter has Trojans rolling by EARL VAUGHAN JR. HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS Young Eagles earn top seed for NCISAA soccer playoffs by EARL VAUGHAN JR. This was supposed to be some- thing of a rebuilding year for the Fayetteville Academy boys' soc- cer, with a team filled with young players lacking experience. So much for lowered expec- tations. When the seeds for this year's N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2-A state playoffs were announced, Fayetteville Academy was put at the No. 1 spot with a 15-1-1 record. That mark included a penalty shootout loss to public school power Lee County and a tie with North Raleigh Christian. This story was written before the Eagles began postseason competition. By the time it's published, they'll hopefully be preparing to advance to the semifinal round of the state tournament. Regardless of what happens in the postseason, it's been another banner year for the Eagles, the result of a familiar formula put together by vet- eran coach Andrew McCarthy. "We always play a tough sched- ule,'' he said. "We always want to challenge the boys. They've been a very committed group every day at practice. "We've stressed getting better every game and every practice. We've had a few bumps along the way, a few performances that haven't been as good, but overall they've been doing what we've asked of them.'' An area where the Eagles have been solid is defense. In 14 of their 17 regular-season matches, Fayetteville Academy has allowed one goal or less. "It's not just the back line and the keeper,'' McCarthy said. "You defend from the front. It's a team effort by the defenders, and the keeper has been fantastic.'' The keeper is Carter Boliek, a senior who took up the position three years ago. "The only thing holding him back was game experience,'' McCarthy said. "He had all the talent. He's come up with big saves in big games. If you have a good goalkeeper, you've got a good chance.'' Boliek said the focus of the Eagle defense has been working hard as a unit and making it harder for the opposition to score. "I think everyone on our team has improved exponentially,'' he said. "We've come together and gelled well. That's led to a lot of team success.'' Center back Julian Barbaro credits the good coaching the Eagles get from McCarthy and assis- tant coach Jimmy Maher. "We've all been pretty positive and stayed together,'' he said. "We've spent countless hours on and off the field, talking, staying tougher and helping each other out.'' It's been four years since Fayetteville Academy brought a state soccer title home. McCarthy said the formula for doing it again remains the same. "Hopefully we're well-prepared,'' he said. "We know the game plan going in, and we do what we need to do.'' EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. (910) 364-6638. Attention Students: Do you have a story or idea to share with High School Highlights? Email us at highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com L-R: Julian Barbaro, Andrew McCarthy, Carter Boliek Lavonte Carter Bill Sochovka Attention Students: Let Your Voice Be Heard Get published in our award-winning community newspaper Up & Coming Weekly Send in your feature articles, editorials, short stories, movie and music reviews or original poetry and artwork to: highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com Subject line: High School Highlights Please include your photo and school information.

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