By Angela Higginbotham
Mandarin High School rising senior Caleb Carpenter has grown up in the area and found a passion for football when he started playing in eighth grade. He plays right tackle for the Mandarin Mustangs and along with his team, recently received his State Championship ring.
The 3.8 GPA honor student sets an example both on and off the field. His parents, Christopher Carpenter and Patricia Spraggins, reside in Mandarin and on the Southside. Carpenter’s future plans involve hopes of playing college football, but he doesn’t plan to rely on that hope. He would like to stay local for college, possibly Jacksonville University or the University of Central Florida. His current choice of study is chemical engineering. Carpenter enjoys staying active in the Mandarin community. He is interested in becoming even more involved in his school and in sports leadership next year.
- What do you enjoy most about going to high school in Mandarin?
Mandarin High is where my mom when to school, so I’m happy to follow in her footsteps. The community support is great as well.
- Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I’m blessed to have a great family that always supports me, but my mom is one of my biggest influences. She’s helped me push through the pain this sport can bring on and encouraged me to get back up and do my best.
- Are you a big football fan yourself?
I’m a big Dallas Cowboys fan. I love football to death and follow the sport like the back of my hand. This sport has built me into what I am today and helped me build good leadership skills.
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I weight lift a lot. I like to run and play basketball as well.
- How did it feel to win the State Championship title with your teammates?
That was one of the best moments I’ve ever had in my life. Most of us were crying. I still remember it like it was yesterday. It took a lot of commitment to get us to that point. Players were getting hurt and others had to really step up.
Photo courtesy Caleb Carpenter