Rhea County’s Kyle Carr excels on high school field, college classroom


RHEA COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — As if being the starting quarterback for a perennially winning team isn’t time-consuming enough, Rhea County senior Kyle Carr manages to take — and ace — college classes, as well.

His teammates don’t understand how he balances everything. However, he’s not only surviving — he’s thriving.

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“He’s so smart!” lifelong friend and Rhea County cornerback Mason Jolley said.

Rhea County quarterback Kyle Carr takes his smarts up to Roane State Community College every morning for Calculus and Physics classes.

“I leave about 7 to go to Roane State,” Carr said. “Get there about 7:30. Study up on whatever I’m doing… Once I get done with that, I head home, get some lunch, relax there until noon. Then I come here and finish up my day at high school. I’m here for practice, then home.”

Carr’s 11-hour day finishes with about four hours of homework before he repeats it all the next day.

“He’s handled it fine. He’s shown no signs of stress whatsoever. Knows the plays better than I do,” Jolley said. “It drives all of us to do everything better. Like, it’s insane. We have no excuse if he can do all that.”

Even with all of that, Carr has maintained a 3.75 GPA and successfully leads the Eagles to victories on Friday nights.

“You just got to take it one at a time,” Carr said. From 8-3 my focus is on school, and from 3-5 my focus is on Rhea County High School football.”

“He does a great job managing our football team, handles our offense really well,” Rhea County coach Mark Pemberton said. “We’ve had fewer turnovers this year than we’ve had in a long time, and that’s a huge part of being a quarterback. He’s one of the reason’s we’re where we’re at right now.”

The starting job is a new opportunity for Carr this year.

“He’s waited his turn,” Pemberton said. “He’s been all in since he’s been here. He’s been a kid that’s worked hard. The difference between his freshman year and now is unbelievable, how much he’s improved and changed and grown.”

“No one has grown more as a football play from freshman to senior year. People had made jokes about how bad he was freshman year, and he’s come out here his senior year one of the better players on our offense,” Jolley said.

Carr will graduate Rhea County with an associates degree. He then plans to finish his undergraduate education at Tennessee Tech before pursuing a masters and PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

“I felt like I was able to take on a heavy load this year as starting quarterback and finishing up getting my associates degree so it’s a heavy load, but I think I can finish,” Carr said.

If you know of an athlete deserving of our Scholar Athlete of the Week award, nominate them on our website!

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Angela joined the News 12 team in November of 2017 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter. Angela is a proud member of an Army family, which means she has hometowns all over the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently, she calls Peachtree City, Georgia, home, where she graduated from Trinity Christian School and spent her free time driving her purple golf cart. She then headed to Milledgeville, Georgia, to attend Georgia College and State University. A proud Bobcat, Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication and represented her December 2016 class as one of three valedictorians. Angela comes to the Scenic City from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked at the NBC affiliate, WMBF News. Before the big move, she worked as Georgia College's Sports Information Assistant, which let her get paid to be the Bobcats' biggest fan. It all started in Savannah, Georgia, though, where she interned for SAV's number one station, WTOC. When she's not working, you can find Angela watching the New York Giants, Rangers or basically any other game that's on. She also loves traveling, hiking and exploring new places, all with her camera in hand. If you have any story ideas, big or small, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at amoryan@wdef.com."