Roosevelt’s Idris Carter loves that his father, Tony, is a football coach.
He feels that being exposed to the game at an early age instilled his love for the sport. He likes that they can break down film of his games with the Rough Riders most every Sunday. And he enjoys that together they have turned him into a sound quarterback and defensive back with an advanced insight into the game and its strategies.
There will only be small differences this week as they head into a Nassau Conference III quarterfinal where they will be on opposing sidelines. Idris Carter leads sixth-seeded Roosevelt (3-5) in Friday’s 5:30 p.m. contest at No. 3 Wantagh (6-2), where Tony Carter is the defensive coordinator.
“We are still talking all about football, but maybe there’s a little less about game plans,” said Idris Carter, who will attend Stony Brook University and play baseball. “He’s not playing in the game. It might be very different if we were talking about two brothers playing in a game on [opposing] teams. But that’s not this and at the end of the day, he is still going to be my dad.”
Wantagh and Roosevelt were opponents in the final regular season game. At the end of the Warriors’ 33-13 victory father and son met in the handshake line. They shared a long embrace.
“I was proud of the way he played the game and that he’s having fun playing football,” Tony Carter said. “That is the most important thing here in high school football. He represents himself well. He represents his family well. People are always telling me how much they admire how he handles himself. It’s all you could ask for.”
Before the regular season finale, the Roosevelt team tried to tap into the Carter vs. Carter storyline for a little extra motivation. Even as they embarked on that week after a win against Lawrence, Rough Riders coach Joe Vito said “we’d love to get the win over Wantagh for Idris.”
“It got brought up some, but I don’t think we should ever make a game bigger than it really is,” Idris Carter said. “To win should be motivation enough and we will have that after playing them last week."
He pointed out a critical fumble in the red zone as one of the “momentum changers that hurt us,” but added, “we didn’t handle our business as well as we should have – we can like our chances this week because we know what we didn’t do well and we have a chance to fix it.”
For the Carters, that typically means Tony and Idris discussing what he could do better. And there has been some of that already this week. But Tony Carter explained that, because the teams use different systems, much of the analysis of his son’s performance is about the basic fundamentals he always has taught him.
“I tell it like teaching your kid to drive,” Tony Carter said. “You make sure that they are as good at the fundamentals as you can get them – make sure they understand all you need to understand – but then they are the ones that have to drive the car.”