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MOUNT WASHINGTON – An injury late in his junior year of high school hampered Bullitt East’s Cameron Carter during his senior season of soccer last fall.
Still, despite limited playing time for the Chargers as a senior, Carter got the attention of Campbellsville University head coach Adam Preston. The pair saw eye-to-eye on a few things and recently Preston was in Mount Washington to get Carter’s signature to play for the Tigers starting this fall.
Because of the injury, Carter is the first to admit that he had worries that a chance to play soccer in college had crept over him. Still, he stayed positive and in the end it all worked out.
“I didn’t start talking to them until April,” Carter said after the signing ceremony in the Bullitt East Media Center. “I told them I was interest and asked if I could talk to them. It was an overall good feel.”
Carter suffered a torn meniscus running track in the spring of 2012. That injury required surgery. While he did return to play soccer for the Chargers in the fall, he was limited to shorter stretches of action than he had planned for his final campaign.
“I was a little worried,” Carter said of not being able to play soccer again after the injury. “After the first month when I could play, I realized I could get to my full potential.”
The 18-year old son of Kevin and Denise Carter had really started looking at Campbellsville for academics before contacting Preston. The Bullitt East senior wants to work toward a degree in Biology with the hope of continuing his education to the point of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Carter had enough bunkmates this year to field a soccer team. He has three brothers, all younger, and during this school year, the family hosted two foreign exchange students including one who played soccer with the Chargers. In addition, the Carter’s have six foster children.
Carter grew up in Mount Washington and started playing soccer when he was five-years old in the Bullitt County YMCA program. He also played a little ‘competitive’ travel soccer before joining the Bullitt East program as an eighth-grader while still a student at Eastside Middle School.
“They announced an open try-out at our school and I decided to give it a try,” Carter recalls. “I knew somebody who had tried out and didn’t make it as a seventh-grader, but then did the next year.”
When asked about a favorite memory of his soccer days at Bullitt East, Carter pointed to the team’s overnight trip to Madisonville for a tournament during his junior year. In fact, the senior mentioned liking all of the overnight trips with the team.
“Those are always fun,” he said.
“Friends have always pushed me to do better,” Carter pointed out. “They did that even if they didn’t realize it at the time.”
Preston made the trip to Mount Washington to sign Carter and he brought with him Cody Clark, his student assistant. Clark played soccer at Bullitt Central.
At Campbellsville, there is both a varsity program as well as a ‘reserve’ team that is much like a junior-varsity squad.
“We expect him to help us on the reserve team first,” Preston said. “he is coming back from that injury. Every kid has to make the decision to get better.”
Preston has added several players over the years who have picked the school first for academics and then decided to play soccer.
“It’s good that they are focused on all the aspects of the school and not just athletics,” the coach said.
Last fall, the Tigers posted a 13-6-1 record in Preston’s 10th season as the head coach. That mark included a 7-2 record in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA. The team did lose in the first-round of the Mid-South Conference tournament as well as seeing the season end with a loss in the semi-finals of the Mid-East Regional Tournament of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
In 2008, the Tigers reached the semi-finals of the NCCAA tourney and in 2010, a team that posted a 19-6 record finished fifth in the NCCAA tourney.
Bullitt East soccer coach Mike Brangers was not expecting Carter to be able to play at the next level, but is glad that it all worked out. The Bullitt East program helped the sale as former Charger goalie Cliff Florence played at Campbellsville for Preston.
“He wasn’t released (by his doctor) to even start practice until the first of August,” Brangers pointed out. “When he started with conditioning with us he was maybe 50 percent. At the end (of the season) he was closer to 90 percent. Still, we only used him in about ten minute stretches.”
Carter did score twice during this past season, but he played more in the mid-field. That is where he feels that he will play for Campbellsville.