Rough and tumble

Austin Carter
Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM.

It was not a lack of strength and agility that stopped Austin Carter from playing football or soccer or any of the other traditional male sports featured at Franklin County High School .

At 6’ 2”, 190 pounds, his athletic talents and academic skills afforded him plenty of choices. So he chose the one that best served his passion, cheerleading.

The girls who are his teammates, his many other close friends, nieces and nephews, all were in abundance Saturday evening at a going-away party in his honor at his stepmother’s church, the Living Waters Assembly of God.

Amidst the cake and sandwiches and picture taking, their affection for Carter populated the air as they said goodbye. The 17-year-old student athlete is swapping the “Seahawk Life” of the Forgotten Coast for the Seahawk life of the Pacific Northwest, to finish up his last year of high school living with an uncle in Bellingham, Washington, a city as far north and west to the Canadian border you can go without stepping on a maple leaf.

His father, Ronald Carter, is happy his older brother, a retired Marine colonel with plenty of resources to do as he wishes, is excited about taking his son in.

All of Ronald Carter’s siblings spent time in the military, children of an Air Force master sergeant who introduced his family to the area while stationed at Tyndall. Ronald Carter is now retired from the service, working in maintenance for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Eastpoint.

In his toast to his son, he reminded him that a cellphone is a useful tool these days. He said this with a tear of joy in his eye, as he thinks about what his son has accomplished, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

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