In 1968, I was a barely 6 foot tall and 185 pounds. I was the starting offensive center for the Canoga Park California High School varsity football team. That team would go on to win the Los Angeles City Championship for the first and only time in its 100+ year history (before the city was divided into divisions). All that season I wanted my head coach, Jack Mathieson, to let me play linebacker. That’s the position my Dad wanted me to play. During half-time at the league championship game coach Mathieson, frustrated at my poor performance, looked me in the eye knowing I wanted to play defense, and said “Carr, you couldn’t even be a pimple on a football players (butt) here or anywhere, offense or defense!”
This was just one of the thoughts that swirled in my head as I sat on the stage in the Brigham Young University Athletic Hall of Fame 42 years later. I was waiting my turn to be inducted as one of the few defensive players and the only linebacker in BYU history to receive that honor.
With coach Mathieson in the audience looking as proud as if I were his own son, I smiled as I looked out at my family and friends, and all the people I cared about. They were all there to support me, to cheer me on.
Little did anyone really know the price I paid to be there.