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Lancaster High School senior wide receiver Shane Carter, along with a handful of his Bruins’ teammates, probably has a deeper appreciation of LHS’s 9-3 playoff season.
Carter, a three-year starter and four-year team member, has seen the Bruins’ football program come full circle.
Carter, along with linebacker Stephno Drakeford, place-kicker Anna Funderburk, center Tyler Outen and defensive lineman Travis Smith were members of the 2005 LHS team that went 0-11.
“We’ve gotten better each year,” said Carter, who received the team’s Best First-Year Player Award that season.
He added he felt the Bruins were better than their record showed.
“We weren’t that bad and sometimes the sun doesn’t shine on teams,” Carter said. “We had athletes. We practiced hard and were dedicated, but we didn’t have anything to show for our effort.”
Carter did take something he learned from then Bruins’ head coach Johnny Roscoe.
“Coach Roscoe told me to stick with it,” Carter said. “Things won’t always go your way, but you have to tough it out.”
Now he’s glad he did.
“There were a few times I wanted to hang it up, but we’ve shown improvement from season to season,” Carter said. “This season has been great. It’s been a lot of hard work and now we have something to show for it.”
Bruins’ assistant coach Joe Watson, a first-year member of the Bruins’ staff that season, said the team has “grown together.”
“We’ve gone from the bottom to about an 8 on a 10 scale,” Watson said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re going strong in the right direction.”
Watson said Carter’s a key reason for the Bruins’ steady football rise.
“Shane’s a senior leader and he sets a good example on the field with his hard work and dedication,” Watson said. “Away from the field, he sets a positive example because he’s a solid A-B student.
“His parents (James and Angie Carter) can be proud of the way he represents his family.”
Carter, who has nine catches for 134 yards this season, said he’s confident of the Bruins’ chances as they face 9-3 Goose Creek, the Region VII champion in the Class AAAA state quarterfinals tonight.
“They’re a good team, but I do think we can beat them,” Carter said. “They’re a beatable team and we have to keep our momentum going.
“A lot of people doubted us, but the win last week at Greenwood showed the Lancaster Bruins are for real. You can see it in our eyes.”
Watson envisions a bright future for Carter, but doesn’t relish the fact his time is short no matter the Bruins’ postseason run.
“Shane has a chance to play at the next level and I’m going to miss him,” he said. “You get 100 percent from him and those type players you always like to have around. He makes positive things happen.”
Carter said he hopes he can keep doing that for a couple of more weeks.
“We’ve come a long way and we can’t stop now,” Carter said. “What we’re doing is special. My job is to be a leader.”