New TAD baseball  coach getting a handle on duties

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   Sometimes a little deviation from the norm provides a person with some different views when speaking of the world of sports.
   Jason Carter, the new T.A. Dugger head baseball coach, has been around athletics all his life, but this is his first stint at being the mentor of a baseball program.
   "Coach Brian Culbert, who was the head coach of the team last year, has really been great about showing me the everyday routines of the program," said Carter. "He has really given me some great support."
   Carter is probably most remembered as a standout on the Elizabethton Cyclone football team in the late '80s. He earned a full scholarship to ETSU, where he played free safety for the Bucs.
   After graduating from ETSU, Carter gained his first teaching job at Happy Valley Middle School, where he coached football and basketball for four years.
   He then stepped up to Happy Valley High School, becoming an assistant for the Warrior football program.
   Carter has enjoyed his stint as head baseball coach at T.A. Dugger. He has been successful at surrounding himself with some great baseball individuals who have made his job much easier.
   "Andy Curtis and Jared Ellis have done a tremendous job at helping me with these young men," said Carter. "I feel fortunate to have them assisting me."
   The name Ellis ties in heavily with the baseball program at T.A. Dugger. Jared's father, Harold, is responsible for getting the program on its feet at the junior high.
   For someone coming from a football and basketball environment, there are some differences when comparing these sports to baseball, according to Carter.
   Said Carter: "In basketball, there is a lot of strategy with X's and O's. Even though baseball is a team sport, there is a lot of the game that is hinged upon the individual player. Baseball is a little easier to coach because of that."
   Spending eight years at the junior high level, Carter felt that the desire to compete at that level is as strong as it has ever been.
   "These kids at T.A. Dugger love to compete," stated Carter. "Their enthusiasm really carries over to us as coaches as well."
   A lot of individuals enter coaching with a desire to do so until they are no longer physically able to carry on. Carter, although enjoying coaching, has been busy making plans to travel another route on down the road.
   "I completed my administration degree last year," said Carter. "One day I really would like to enter the administration level of education."
   Jason Carter may be a new face to a lot of people around the T.A. Dugger program, but he has definitely proved his credibility with his team and coaches.
   Providing the enthusiasm needed to be successful at any endeavor, Carter will guide the Jr. Cyclones into a new season beginning on Monday with a double-header against Bristol at Elizabethton High School, beginning at 4:30 PM.