Only a freshman, Christian Academy quarterback Austin Carr already has developed a reputation as a poised player.
His teammates have noticed. Opposing coaches have noticed. And Centurions coach Stefan LeFors says it’s not an accident.
“We try to get on him and try to rattle him and see how he responds,” LeFors said. “He’s the same. We can’t rattle him. He’ll get down from time to time, but he’s quick to get back on track. Not a whole lot phases him.”
Carr is a big reason Christian Academy is 4-2 and ranked No. 2 in Class 2-A in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings. He’ll get one of the biggest tests of his young career when the Centurions host rival DeSales (5-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
DeSales is No. 1 in the Class 2-A Litratings and has won two straight state titles.
“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Carr said. “A lot is going to be expected of me, but I just have to go out there and play like it’s just another game. We just have to go out there and play CAL football.”
A 6-foot-1 195-pounder, Carr has completed 64.7 percent of his passes (75 of 116) this season for 1,116 yards and 15 touchdowns with six interceptions. His best game statistically came in a 42-14 victory over North Oldham on Sept. 18, completing 10 of 14 passes for 286 yards and five touchdowns.
Carr has been playing football since he was 5 years old but mostly as a fullback and middle linebacker. His first year as a quarterback came as an eighth-grader, when he led Christian Academy to a Kentucky Middle School Football Association Division III title.
“I liked what he showed as an eighth-grader,” LeFors said, “but I don’t know that we thought, ‘Hey, he’s going to start.’”
Carr suffered a broken foot during the summer and wasn’t named the starter until a few days before the season opener at Simon Kenton. He had won the job, but he said he still had to win over his teammates.
Having sure-handed receivers such as seniors Cal Lewellyn and Clay Davis has helped.
I’m still getting comfortable with them, but I know I can depend on them.”
“I have some really good receivers to throw to, and they expect a lot,” Carr said. “I can’t come in as a freshman and play like a freshman. I have to play to that junior or senior level.”
Carr has a strong right arm and rarely tries to scramble when faced with pressure, routinely checking down to find open receivers.
It’s a characteristic that’s impressed DeSales coach Harold Davis.
“He’s already very good,” Davis said. “He has a good arm, and he never seems to panic when he’s pressured. He’s going to very, very good by the time he leaves there.”
Carr comes from an athletic family, as his mother, Heather, played basketball at Central and his father, Chad, played baseball at Manual and Georgetown College. Chad Carr now is the boys basketball coach at Christian Academy, and Austin plans to play the sport this winter.
LeFors said Carr also has an outgoing personality that has helped him be accepted by older teammates.
“It’s a credit to his personality and maturity level as a freshman,” LeFors said. “He’s still a freshman, and I have to remember that. There’s some things where we’re like, ‘Maybe we can do this and this and this.’ Then we’re like, ‘Slow down. Let’s not jump the gun.’
“But he’s ahead of the curve, for sure.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and [email protected]
GAME OF THE WEEK
* Who: DeSales (5-1) at Christian Academy (4-2).
* When: 7:30 p.m.
* Jason’s pick: DeSales 17-14.