Carpenter fights his way to play for the Battlers

Published 2:31 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers senior quarterback Tayden Carpenter signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Alderson-Broaddus Battlers. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, mother Johnda Carpenter, Tayden and sister Teegan; standing left to right, grandfather John Smith, father Trent Carpenter and grandmother Debra Carpenter and grandfather Alvin Carpenter. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

Life has been trying to kick Tayden Carpenter to the curb. But life didn’t expect Carpenter to kick back.

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The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior quarterback has overcome one obstacle after another and his latest victory had him sign a letter-of-intent to play for the Alderson-Broaddus Battlers.

Tayden Carpenter

Carpenter is different from other players, but it has nothing to do with his ability to throw the football. He was born deaf and only through the miracle of medicine that had hearing aids implanted in his skull allows Carpenter to hear.

But that wasn’t the end of his obstacles to overcome. He suffered a broken collarbone his freshman year and hurt his hip and ankle his junior year that only allowed him to play five games.

Despite all those setbacks, Carpenter feels blessed that h has been given the talent and ability to enjoy success on the field and now a chance to play at the next level.

“The first thing I want to do is give glory to God for giving me a healthy season and all the important things He’s done in my life. I wouldn’t be here right now without Him,” said Carpenter.

“Hard work has been the main thing ever since I was little. I didn’t get what I wanted. I had to work for it. My parents preached that to me and Teegan, my sister. Work hard or what you got and sooner or later you’re probably going to get it.”

“I wanted to play quarterback at a college program. That was my big goal and here I am. To make to college to play football is just a dream come true for me right now.”

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Carpenter was a first team All-Southeast District selection in Division 5. Suiters for his talents included Yale, the University of Charleston, Georgetown College, West Virginia Wesleyan and some other schools before he settled on Alderson-Broaddus.

“It boiled down to which place felt like home and Alderson-Broaddus felt more like home the most,” said Carpenter.

The Battlers are an NCAA Division 2 program.

“Tayden is like an extension of the coaching staff. He’s like the offensive coordinator in the huddle, makes all the right calls, the right checks, a phenomenal leader, just a kid who has grown so much within the program,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton.

“He truly knows the ins and outs of the program and how we want things ran. He’s done a great job commanding the huddle for three years and commanding the locker room for three years.”

Speaking of running the offense, Carpenter said the A-B offense is very similar to the offense Ironton runs which will make for an easier transition.

“They just talked to me about my education there and they talked to me about their offense,” said Carpenter. “Just tried to get a feel to it. They told me if I came in and worked my hardest that I could play right away. It was just a lot of things they talked to me about. There were a lot of things they talked to me about just saying I’ve got to work hard for what I’ve got to do.”

Carpenter said the Battlers use RPOs among other facets of the offense.

“It actually very similar. That’s why I liked it a lot,” said Carpenter. “Me and my dad (Trent) visited up there one day on an official visit and their coach just talked about their offense and me an my dad just looked at each other and said this is just like our offense.”

With Carpenter’s mental and physical toughness along with his talent, Pendleton sees nothing but more success for the young quarterback.

“I think he’s going to have a huge career and he’ll flourish. I think he’s the guy who’s going to lead that program for years to come,” said Pendleton.

Carpenter put up school record numbers at quarterback as he completed 124 of 183 passes for a 67.8 percent completion rate with only two interceptions during the regular season. He had 2,171 yards with 29 touchdowns.

“It was kind of rare for a quarterback to have the kind of season like that. I broke those records but (Ironton) didn’t throw it much back then,” said Carpenter.

“It was amazing to have those numbers but it was the whole team together, especially the wide receiver group I had. It was all this running backs and our line. It was a great senior group and I was glad I got to play with them.”

Carpenter said he is leaning toward either education or physical therapy as a major.

“Right now I have two options. It’s either going to be education or physical therapy. Education is my strong point. I want to go somewhere and coach when I get older,” said Carpenter.