By Logan Moon, Duke Sports Information
DURHAM, N.C. - The heat and humidity in Durham can be a lot to handle at times, and many people spend their weekends sitting in their air-conditioned homes enjoying their days off. That was not the case for freshman DeWayne Carter and his teammates last weekend. While others were enjoying their relaxing Saturdays, Carter and his fellow freshman were volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, assisting in the building of affordable housing for the Durham community.
A native of Pickerington, Ohio, Carter was a dual-sport athlete and a four-year letterwinner in football and baseball at Pickerington Central. During his high school football tenure, Carter received an all-state honor and was a part of the state championship team at Pickerington Central his junior year. Along with those accolades, Carter boasted 83 tackles, 8.0 tackles for lost yardage, 5.0 sacks and a pick-six his senior year. Following his final campaign, he was named The Columbus Dispatch’s All-Metro Team Defensive Player of the Year.
While being very successful on the field, he also made sure he succeeded outside the world of sports. Carter was a member of the National Honor Society, a Hugh O’Brian Youth ambassador, an Ohio Capital Conference Student Leadership Representative and was involved with a number of other extra-curricular organizations.
Clearly, Carter is no stranger to hard work. When the opportunity to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity presented itself, he took it. Carter, who often volunteered at his hometown elementary school, was happy he got the chance to help the nonprofit organization.
“I enjoy giving back,” Carter said. “I always have. I like making people happy. Younger kids look at us like we are superheroes, so it is important to let them, and the community, know we aren’t any bigger or better than them.”
The purpose of this service act was for some of Duke’s incoming freshmen to get a chance to help out their new community, and also provided a good opportunity for team bonding.
As any football fan knows, part of the success of a team is dependent upon how well teammates trust one another. When asked how this time together helped the team become closer, Carter had this to say: “There was a lot of trust involved in this project. I already feel like I trust every single one of the guys on this team.”
During their time volunteering, Carter had only good things to say about the experience.
“A lot of the actual work helped build trust,” he said. “We were climbing ladders and handing down windows to each other, so we had to rely on each other to make sure no one got hurt.”
Photo courtesy of Durham Habitat for Humanity
Along with teammates trusting one another, unselfishness among players is a quality that every football team has enjoyed. Carter is no exception.
“I just want to contribute to the team somehow in some way,” Carter said. “All I need to do is follow my coaches’ rules, and practice as hard as I can.”
Goals for this year’s team are high with last year’s squad producing an 8-5 record, and a third consecutive bowl win with a 56-27 victory versus Temple at the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl. As a result, Carter and the incoming freshman class have a lot to grow into on the field this season. Their off the field actions, however, are just as important to their Duke football experience.