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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Underdog mentality motivates leaders

As the ball is hiked, Carson Belmont, ’05, drops behind the wall of blockers. A Valley champion defender squeezes though the offensive linemen.

Belmont sees the threat and tucks the ball, lowering all of his five-foot, ten-inch frame to slam through a CVC linebacker who outweighs him by at least 50 pounds.

“First down!” yells the referee as the chains are moved.

Two years ago when Belmont took his first snap as the JV quarterback, many thought he was a joke. That first game ended with a loss for the rookie quarterback and his teammates.

Although the seasoned Immanuel team defeated them by a single point, Eagle football had found a new leader.

“Carson [Belmont] may not be our most imposing athlete, but without a doubt he’s the leader of the team,” Jon Hall, head coach, said. “He’s smart, and he’s always got his head in the game. He may not have the flare some other quarterbacks have, but when it comes down to it, he just gets the job done.”

For Belmont, there is not a time he can remember where he did not play sports.

“My dad played sports in college, so sports have always been a part of my life,” Belmont said. “I started playing tee-ball at age four. Baseball had always been my focus until I started playing football in high school.”

As a child, Belmont’s baseball hero was the Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. In football, it was Barry Sanders who captured his adoration.

After spending his entire childhood attending public schools, the switch to a 300-student private school was difficult for Belmont.

“It felt really different when I first came here,” Belmont said. “There were so few people, and everyone seemed so overly friendly.”

Currently serving as student body president, Belmont seems to have acclimated just fine.

Belmont started his senior season by receiving ABC 30’s Carl’s Jr. play of the week, for his 38-yard fumble recovery against Strathmore on Sept. 17.

Belmont may not be afraid of lowering his shoulders into tacklers that often outweigh him by 40 pounds or more, but he certainly does not mind handing the ball off to fullback Nate King, ’05, either.

Looking at King’s 230-pound frame, most people could not picture him as anything other than a fullback. Regardless, King started his football career as a tight end.

During a fateful game against Parlier during his freshman year, King, and fellow freshman, Westy Guill [’05, currently quarterback for Clovis East], ruptured their spleens. That game proved to be the 2001 JV’s only loss.

Because of his injury, King decided to sit out the basketball season, which had been his focus at the beginning of the year.

King returned to the football field the next year after hitting the weights persistently during the off-season. Now a senior, King seems like the perfect compliment to halfback Tyler Charest, ’05.

“Rupturing my spleen was one of the hardest things I ever had to work through,” King said. “I couldn’t do anything. It was months before I could even lift weights again.”

Coaches marvel at King’s work ethic.

“Nate has really put in the work these last few year,” Rob Foshee, defensive coordinator, said. “He goofs off sometimes, but he’s become one of the hardest hitting and most aggressive players we’ve ever had.”

Growing up with two older brothers, King learned to be competitive. Whether it was football in the street, basketball at the closest school, or whiffle-ball at the park, King was always playing something.

King has played a multitude of sports, and loved every one of them, yet it is football that has captured his heart.

“Football is like no other sport,” King said. “You spend about 12 hours a week practicing for a game on a Friday night that lasts less than two hours, but it’s all worth it. It’s about as close to real war as you can get, and there’s no better feeling in the world than stepping off of that field knowing you poured every part of yourself into the game.”

The varsity team began their season 0-2 against non-league opponents, but came together to defeat Strathmore 26-25 on Sept. 17. They will be hosting league rival Coast Union on Sept. 24.

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