Tweety’s number retired at RCS sports banquet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Sports Editor

RESERVE – Reserve Christian celebrated the Eagle’s annual end-of-the-year sports banquet with a familiar face in attendance, a face that helped put RCS on the map.

Demond &#8220Tweety” Carter was back in the Eagle’s Nest for last Friday night’s banquet to see the latest batch of annual honors bestowed upon Eagle athletes. Carter, a McDonald’s all-American and Baylor starting point guard, was also recognized during the ceremony as his jersey and number were officially retired.

&#8220Nobody will ever wear this number 23 again,” said Reserve Christian basketball coach Tim Byrd to the attending family and friends. &#8220We’re honored to have had him here and honored that he has been a part of our family.”

While with RCS, Carter led the Eagles to four state championships, was a five-time Outstanding Player of the Year in Louisiana, was a five-time all-state selection, was a four-time state tournament MVP and was named a McDonald’s All-American, Parade All-American and Jordan All-American.

This year with Baylor, Carter, a true freshman, helped the Bears to a 15-16 record and a quarter-finals finish in the Big 12 tournament. He scored a career-high 31 points on a career-high seven 3-pointers in one game, the fourth-most single-game total in school history, for Baylor. By mid-season, he was averaging more than ten points per game and led the team in three-pointers made by the year’s end.

Carter also was on hand to see his former coach bestowe accolades to yet another state championship basketball squad, noting that the Eagles surprised a lot of people this year even after losing Carter and seeing some early season adversity. But he, nor his team, ever lost confidence in their ability to compete.

&#8220We lost a couple of guys early in the year,” said Byrd. &#8220But I knew, once these guys went to battle with us, once they got through some adversity, that we had a state championship team. There were two games where we found that out…. Our wins against Ellender and East St. John showed me that this team had what it takes.”

Byrd was decidedly correct in his prediction as the Eagles took the state championship in mid-March with a 61-59 win over Athens. It took a last-second jumper from Kyle McClue to give the Eagles their third consecutive title, for which McClue got the game MVP. He was also named as the most improved player for RCS at the banquet, no small feat according to Byrd.

&#8220Usually when you give this award,” said Byrd, &#8220it implies that a player wasn’t really all that good to start with. But not in his case. [McClue] was good to start with, but he’s come a long way and became someone that we could rely on.”

Byrd also recognized Eddren McCain as a key component in the Eagle’s success. Named MVP by his coach, McCain enters next season for his senior year after leading RCS to the title and keeping them balanced early on while the Eagle’s were still developing.

&#8220[McCain] has just been incredible for us, a blessing really,” said Byrd. &#8220He’s a guy that came to us and really made a fast impact. The heart of the team. He is our most valuable player.”

Justin Bernard was one of the biggest winners on the evening. For basketball, he earned the coach’s award from Byrd, as well as MVP for the track and cross-country teams. Ashley Wilking took home the most awards though as she was named MVP for the cross-country team, track team and swim team, to go with top defensive honors in volleyball and most talented in cheerleading.