Well, that didn't take long. It was only 21 days ago that I wrote about the strong rumors of player movement in the Sun Valley football program.
Late last night, I learned that one of those whispers is ringing true and will soon ripple through the Valley to the pleasure of a few and the anger of many.
Carson Black has transferred out of Sun Valley High School.
The six-foot-two and a half, 180-pound rising sophomore quarterback, will take his football gear and cross state lines to Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
This transfer news is the most significant QB transfer in our county since Austin Kendall left Cuthbertson for Charlotte Christian during the summer of 2013. Kendall won a state championship with Christian in 2013. Kendall returned to Cuthbertson the next year and was within seconds of taking the Cavaliers to the 3AA state championship in 2014, losing to Weddington in a heartbreaker.
Coincidentally, Kendall's head coach at Cuthbertson HS was David johnson, who is now the offensive coordinator at Nation Ford. Johnson has a sharp offensive mind, and Black will be in excellent hands.
Carson Black was named the starting quarterback as a freshman just weeks before the 2019 football season.
Black was named to the 2019 UnioNCounty Football Dream Team and is ranked as the 14th best quarterback in the nation and #2 in the state amongst the Class of 2023 QBs by the QB Hit List.
Carson finished third in the county in passing yards during a tough season that saw the Spartans finish at 2-9. The last freshman quarterback to rank that high in passing yards was in 2015 when Sam Howell led all county QBs in passing yards.
As an 8th grader, Carson was the starting quarterback on the Sun Valley team that defeated Holy Trinty 57-30 to win a middle school championship. On that late afternoon, I watched Black dissect one of the best defensive 8th-grade teams in middle school football.
The 2018 Sun Valley Middle School championship was the second championship win for the Sun Valley football program since I've been covering football in the county, the first was the Spartans 7th Grade team in 2015. My reaction to the transfer news?
Sad, but not surprised.
Sad because, as a fan of high school football in the county, we have lost a promising young quarterback. As a county, we will not see this young man flourish before our eyes in a Sun Valley uniform.
Sad that social media took to attacking a 15-year old learning his craft as a freshman QB on a young varsity squad, and only one SV coach came to his defense. Sad. That social media episode resonated with me.
I knew something was happening at the Valley, and it didn't appear that Black would be a part of the program's future plans. I'm not surprised by the move because of the whispers on and off social media when Tad Baucom stepped down as head coach after six seasons in January.
Although not surprised, it is hard to believe that a school and football program would abandon a QB that was the future of Spartan football and the heir apparent to the school's greatest quarterback and player, Sam Howell.
When Sam Howell comes home on break, he still works out with Carson. They've been working together since Carson was in 7th grade. The two are very close. I would guess the news of Black's departure will be disconcerting for Carolina's #7.
So how did it come to this? It appears that politics (school and parents alike) rose its ugly head, and unfortunately, the pawns are high school football players and quite possibly Baucom himself. It's hard to imagine that if Baucom decided to stay on as head coach, that I would be writing a blog about Carson Black, transferring out of Sun Valley, out of county and out of state. What happens now at the quarterback position at Sun Valley?
It's an interesting dilemma for the Spartans' new head coach, Drew Hackett. Hackett could look to rising senior Jacob Bowman (QB/K), who lost out in the position battle to Carson over the summer. Bowman was a backup to Sam Howell for two years.
Bowman quit the team last August after the decision to go with Black, but outside of a transfer coming to the Valley, Bowman is the only quarterback in the school who has thrown a pass on the Varsity level.
There is little doubt a new era of football is upon us at Sun Valley.