Like father, like son

Northwestern lacrosse standout Lantz Carter shares a passion for the sport with his father and coach, Lloyd Carter, who played at Morgan State.

May 31, 2006|By LEM SATTERFIELD | LEM SATTERFIELD,SUN REPORTER

Northwestern coach Lloyd Carter doesn't think his star player and son, Lantz, is as good a lacrosse player as he was coming out of Edmondson High in the late 1970s.

Lloyd Carter knows Lantz Carter, a senior attackman and midfielder, is a better player than he ever was.

"Lantz is ambidextrous, he's quick, strong has an accurate shot - all of the skills and the knowledge of the game," Lloyd Carter said. "I think I may have been faster, but as far as knowledge of the game, there's no comparison."

Lantz Carter did have an advantage - he had a good teacher in his father, a former player at Morgan State University who started his son in the sport at age 6 in Pikesville's Tiger League.

From there, he continued to involve him in a number of recreational leagues, particularly those sponsored by Blax Lax Incorporated, an organization that attempts to promote the game to the African-American community.

"Lantz was a very athletic kid from the start, playing Pop Warner football a few years and also Little League baseball and a year of basketball. But lacrosse was the first sport he played," said Lloyd Carter, 47. "I would take him to my club team's games when he was young, but old enough to hold a stick."

Unlike Lloyd Carter's early days experimenting with lacrosse in his youth - when "guys in the neighborhood called lacrosse a white boys' sport," he said Lantz's "friends accepted the fact that he played even though they knew very little about it and Lantz sort of stood out."

The younger Carter still stands out among his peers in Baltimore City, having totaled 90 career goals and 38 assists over three seasons - including two at Randallstown High.

Lantz Carter scored 59 goals and assisted on 27 this season, also scooping 170 ground balls. His efforts led the Wildcats to a 10-4 record and a runner-up finish in the city's A Conference behind Walbrook.

"When I first started playing lacrosse, I don't think I was that good. I couldn't catch, I couldn't throw, but over a period of time, I practiced and became really good at it," said Lantz Carter, who intercepted six passes as a football defensive back. "In other sports, there are a lot of people that are good, but in lacrosse, I believe it takes a special athlete with special talents. Lacrosse is more challenging physically and mentally."

Carter, who will play at Hudson Valley Community College in New York, demonstrated his command of the game's many facets from the start of the season to the end.

In one of his signature games, Carter scored five goals in a 10-9 overtime victory over Poly, a contest during which he scored the tying goal to force the extra session and the game-winner.

But Carter considers his crowning achievement to be his performance in a 14-13 overtime victory over previously unbeaten Walbrook, which ended with Carter scoring the game-winning goal off an assist from fellow attackman Shelton Purnell with 0.5 of a second left.

Carter's six goals in that game outdid Walbrook's high-scoring Eric Pitts, the city's other premier player, who finished the game with three goals and two assists.

"It was a wonderful experience. [Walbrook coach] Ray Harcum has developed a good program and Eric Pitts is one of the best players to come out of Baltimore City in years," Lantz Carter said. "It was the opportunity to beat an excellent team and to prove that we have a good program at Northwestern. So the finish was electrifying and the game is one I will never forget."

Carter won't forget the lessons taught by his father, who starred on attack and midfield at Edmondson - where he played for present Forest Park athletic director Obie Barnes - before graduating in 1976, and at Morgan State University through 1981.

Carter's presence at Morgan came during the aftermath of the Ten Bears era of the early 1970s, when that program's all-black lacrosse teams made a statement by defeating several high-profile collegiate programs comprised of all-white players.

A movie, possibly starring Friends and Johns Hopkins graduate Kyle Harrison, an All-American midfielder, about the Ten Bears is apparently in the works.

A book called Ten Bears detailing the program's accomplishments was co-written by Miles Harrison Jr., Kyle's father, and Chip Silverman, the coach of those teams.

"There was an indescribable sense of pride being a member of the only historically black university to have an NCAA team. We knew we were special, and we carried ourselves that way," Lloyd Carter said. "Morgan was where everyone wanted to go because of its prestigious football and basketball programs, but as the only historically black college with lacrosse, we wanted to test our skills."

Lloyd Carter has often told Lantz the stories of players such as Wayne Jackson (who now is Northwestern's athletic director), Tyron Jones, Dink Brown and Stan Cherry.

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