By Michael Kinney, Contributing Writer
For Mustang fans who traveled to Tulsa for last Friday’s All-State football game, they saw a familiar play. With the East on offense, a pass was thrown to a receiver with Carter Rees in the area.
Anyone who has watched the Broncos play over the last three years knew what was going to happen.
“There was this one play where the slot receiver ran an out route,” Rees said. “I came down and just did my thing. I made a really good tackle. Blew him up basically. I left a mark on that game somehow and let people know that kid can hit.”
Even though the East earned a 27-7 victory in the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State game at Union-Tuttle Stadium, that play stood out to Reese.
But even more for Reese, the entire all-state experience was one that changed his mindset.
“It was very fun and very revealing on how my college career is going to look,” said Rees, who will be attending Missouri Southern. “It really got me excited to play college football at the next level.
“It’s not going to be easy. You are not just going to walk in and know everybody. You have to make do with what you got. Go out to each practice with a good mindset and make it as fun as possible.”
Before heading to Tulsa for the all-state week festivities, Rees had a completely different view of what college football was going to be like for him.
“I knew it was going to be different and, especially for me, I am not going to know anyone up there,” Rees said. “But for me college is going to be practice, practice, practice all the time. But when I went to the all-state game, we practiced twice and I was like I got free time. So it was good to see we will have free time and be able to go out and experience college.”
The all-state game officially ended the prep career of Rees. However, it hit the 6-foot-1, 170-pound cornerback months ago that he would no longer be wearing a Broncos uniform.
“The last game during the semifinals when we loss to Norman North, it really hit me then,” Rees said. “My high school career is over. Going back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing. It did go by fast, but I do cherish every memory. I remember every game. I remember all the big plays, all the bad plays. Just realistic that I am moving on and high school is behind me.”
But that doesn’t mean Rees doesn’t hold a soft spot for Mustang and his teammates.
“My high school career had its ups and downs,” Rees said. “I did start as a sophomore. I was very excited to be part of my sophomore class. Those three years I played high school football, it was awesome. I wouldn’t take anything back. I love all the players I played with. We are all splitting are on ways and I’m just going to cherish the memories I possible can.”
But now Reese has his eyes squarely on the next part of his journey in Joplin, Mo.
“I am very excited. My fall camp starts (Sunday),” Rees said. “I’m just ready to get up there. Ready to fight for a spot. It’s not guaranteed I’m going to get red shirted. If I do, I do. If I don’t, I’m ready to get called up and help my team out.”