Fulton’s Carson de Boer is proving to be a quick study as he immerses himself in high school and community football.

Fulton’s Carson de Boer is proving to be a quick study as he immerses himself in high school and community football.

De Boer quick study on gridiron

Carson de Boer showing potential after just one season of football.

Carson de Boer’s mission is to build up his football playbook in time for the high school season this fall at Fulton.

He’s only played one year of community ball so needs to catch up. The Lawyer Malloy and Golden Tate Sports International Football Camp in Tacoma last week was his second big outing after making Team B.C. Under 16 in late May.

The four-day Washington State camp at Pacific Lutheran University was pretty much a fantasy with Malloy, a four-time Pro Bowl strong safety, and Tate, a Seattle Seahawks’ receiver, joining other current NFLers.

“I received some amazing one-on-one university level and pro level coaching every day and felt like I grew as a player from the first day to the last day,” said de Boer, who turns 16 on Aug. 9.

“Through the week we had the pleasure of having Golden Tate and Lawyer Malloy with us for most of our on-field workouts. They were great inspirations for us as they could speak from a lot of experience playing high-level football and talked to us about their journey into the NFL and some of the successes and struggles they faced along the way.”

On Day 2, de Boer, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound defensive end, went through a defensive workout with KJ Wright and Mike Morgan of the Seahawks.

“Seeing a real pro do some of the drills in front of me, and then having them help me work on some defensive moves was a thrill to say the least. I really enjoyed the talks that the NFL players and coaches gave us at the end of every workout. They talked about things like commitment to the sport, dedication, being and having role models, setting goals, setting priorities and surrounding yourself with good people. There were many lessons I will take away from this week, both as a player and a person.”

At camp’s end, de Boer was awarded a Gridiron Elite Certificate of excellence.

“I was so excited and honoured to be recognized with a group of 11 other amazing high school players from across the U.S.A. (and one from Canada). I guess this was the icing on the cake for me capping off a wonderful week. Meeting and spending time with Lawyer Malloy was also an incredible experience. He was very passionate about hard work and leading yourself and others. His words of wisdom when I left the camp were to keep working hard and keep giving it my all to reach my goals.”

De Boer played for Doug Cook’s Bantam Vernon Wolverines last season and was named Rookie of the Year. He was invited to the B.C. Star Bowl and played for the Valley All-Stars in Abbotsford in April under head coach Mike Derksen.

Based on his performance at the Star Bowl, de Boer was then invited to the Team B.C. U16 trials on the May long weekend in Richmond.

Derksen was also an assistant coach with Team B.C. He’s very high on de Boer.

“What doesn’t he bring to the field?” chuckled Derksen. “For being in his first year, he caught on to the game quickly and his understanding of the game was unbelievable. His intensity and level of play was high. He works so hard every down. You can’t get him off the field. He was begging us to put him back out there.”

Team B.C. competed in the Red River Cup, July 5-14 in Winnipeg but a clerical error which saw de Boer listed on the B.C. Under 18 roster, prohibited de Boer from playing.

“It was disappointing, but I totally understood and these things happen,” said de Boer. “I know that there are lots of setbacks as an athlete so I took the two weeks at the beginning of summer (where I would have been at Red River Cup) to focus on my development and make the most of my time on the football field with my camps.

“I kept a close eye on the Red River Cup updates while I was away and was cheering those guys on. They won the gold medal and I think that they were a super team and deserved all the good things that happened out there.”

Vernon’s Tyler Riva, 14, was identified as a future prospect from the Team B.C. tryouts in a program they refer to as “Quest to be the best.”

De Boer played some defence in hockey a few years ago, now skis in the winter and shoots in the high 80s on the golf course and wakeboards. He figures his attitude impressed the coaches at the Coast.

“I think it’s just my work ethic and definitely my effort, always giving 110. Even though I’m still new to it, I’m trying to learn and I’m always listening. The coaches taught me a lot for sure. They gave me a lot of good skills that I hope to carry over into Fulton this year. I learned a lot more about the position and how hard I’ll have to work to get where I wanna be.”

He also hopes to enjoy another season of minor football (Midget).

“It (first season) went well. I really learned a lot. They definitely taught me the fundamentals I needed to take forward. I definitely need to work on my strength, mainly my speed, just so I can get to that next level. He (Cook) gave me a lot of positive feedback on how I played. He was always encouraging me since I was just beginning and didn’t really know what was going on.”

Said Cook: “He was just a pleasure to coach. He’s an athlete and he really wanted to learn. He’s a real fine young man and a good sportsman, kind of a kid you wish you had five or six of on your team every year.”

A quiet and unassuming honours student who plans to study business and play at the university level, de Boer is a gym rat who impressed Fulton head coach Mike Scheller at a mini camp in early June.

“He’s got a big level of skill,” said Scheller, who took last season off to help coach a AAAA school in Las Vegas. “I like his enthusiasm and he’s a tough kid. He’s a go-getter so we’re happy with him so far. We’re pretty small this year and he’s going to be our biggest kid so we’ll be playing him at (defensive) end and tackle. At D-end, he gets off the ball well and I like his aggression.”

De Boer says he looks up to his parents, Jason and Lisa, while trying to be a role model for younger siblings Tyler, 12, and Taylor, seven.