RIMERSBURG, Pa. (EYT/D9) — No running back wants to see Carter Terwint filling the hole.
No quarterback wants to see Terwint running him down. No wide receiver leaking over the middle wants to see Terwint zeroing in on him for a big hit.
No Union/A-C Valley football opponent wants to see Terwint, period.
Tough. Terwint is everywhere. There’s no getting around him — and there’s certainly no getting through the 6-foot-2, 225-pound middle linebacker, either.
“When I’m out there, I want to be the big dog,” Terwint said. “Whoever is running the ball, watch out, because I’m gonna tear your heart out.”
Terwint is as intimidating as they come. His biceps erupt through the sleeves of his jersey and his scowl and knitted brows when he talks about crushing his opponent proclaim he’s not one to be messed with.
Terwint has always had the mentality on the football field, even back to his early days. He was seemingly born a linebacker, an enforcer on the defensive side of the ball that his teammates rally around and his opponents dread.
“It’s an adrenalin rush when you make that big hit,” Terwint said. “I just feed off of it and the team feeds off of it. That’s what keeps me going. It’s indescribable. You just have to do it and experience it to know what it feels like.”
Terwint, now a senior at Union High School, has experienced it a whole bunch in his two varsity seasons with the Falcon Knights.
He has 121 solo tackles in the 16 games he has played for Union/A-C Valley. Last year he had 105 tackles — seven for a loss — in just seven games as the anchor of a very good defense.
Union/A-C Valley gave up just 57 points during a 5-2 campaign in 2020. The two losses came to Redbank Valley, 10-7, and Smethport, 12-10, in the District 9 playoffs.
“He’s a tough, physical kid — no fear of anything,” said Falcon Knights’ football coach Brad Dittman. “You love having that mentality, and you love him for getting after it.”
Terwint’s approach to the game also oozes out onto his teammates.
He’s the tone-setter.
“They see how much passion he has and how tough and physical he is,” Dittman said. “It’s fun to watch.”
Terwint, though, isn’t satisfied. He wants to do even more this season.
One of the areas he is striving to improve upon is his speed and quickness. He wants to be able to get to the ballcarrier even faster so he can inflict even more pain.
“I’ve tried slimming down a bit — I’m pretty heavy,” Terwint said, acknowledging that a lot of that weight is muscle. “I’ve still tried to cut some weight. I’ve been running a lot, so I hope that helps my speed.”
Terwint can still go sideline to sideline to bring down ballcarriers.
“He has all the tools,” Dittman said.
Terwint also has a chip on his shoulder.
Union/A-C Valley lost a slew of skill-position players from last season, players who helped the offense and, because of the size of the roster, the defense as well with their athleticism.
Outside of the two co-op schools, expectations may be low. Not with Terwint.
“I’d like to see us go undefeated, honestly,” Terwint said. “I mean, we were real close last year. We lost a few guys, but I think with the younger guys coming up, we can put together another good team. We’ve always been doubted for as long as I can remember, but we’ve always found a way to prove people wrong.”
So has Terwint, who was a relative unknown two years ago.
Now everyone knows him. Everyone wants to avoid him.
“The last few varsity seasons I’ve had, I’ve definitely stepped up my game and improved a lot,” Terwint said. “So, I guess what comes along with that is a little bit of an arrogant attitude, I guess. I feel like you have to have that to play linebacker.”