Ryan Carlet started playing soccer when he was 3 years old. At that age, Ryan said, “I was in T-ball, flag football, basketball and soccer. When I was about 6 or 7, I decided I just wanted to only play soccer. Then, I changed my mind and played basketball, too. I played basketball until I got to high school. Now, I’m concentrating on just playing soccer.”
Ryan, 16, will be a junior at Hough High School this fall.
Ryan began his soccer career at Strikers Soccer Center in Huntersville: “Until I was about 8, I played rec (recreational) soccer. My friend’s dad was the coach. He was a pretty good coach. Then I went on to a level called pre-challenge. Players are ranked and put on teams based on their skill level. I was on the B team for the next few years.”
When he got older, Ryan left Strikers and “moved on to playing eight-on-eight on grass soccer fields. (Normal soccer teams field 11 players.) Then I played for FCCA (FC Carolina Alliance). We had some OK seasons. When North Meck Soccer Club became the Carolina Rapids, I switched clubs. Our club team had two successful seasons in the Premier division, making it to the state cup both years. Next year, I’m on the same team.”
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Ryan said his high school soccer career didn’t start out as he planned. “The first year I didn’t go to many workouts, didn’t have a good tryout, and didn’t make the team. It disappointed me but made me work harder. The next year, I made almost all the workouts, had good tryouts, and made the team. I started every game. I helped the team to an undefeated season, with one tie, 22-0-1.”
Ryan’s position is center back. He said, “I’m not the fastest person in the world, so I was drawn to that position. It always feels natural to me. Center back is the last line of defense before the keeper. It’s pretty much the eyes of the team, helping with the shape, directing people where to go.” Since he has to communicate, on the field with his fellow teammates, Ryan added, “I’m loud on the soccer field. I’m not shy off the field, just not boisterous.”
For college, Ryan would like to attend a school “somewhere on the East Coast,” and major in engineering or finance. “I want to play soccer in college, preferably for the school team. If that’s not possible, I’d like to play for the club team,” Ryan said.
When not playing soccer, Ryan likes to go off-roading, go out on Lake Norman boating or swimming, hang out with his friends and play other sports for fun, play with his husky puppy named Jersey and get his younger sister, Jenna, to stop annoying him.
Ryan is the son of Mike and Rita Carlet; their family lives in The Peninsula neighborhood Cornelius.
Lisa Daidone is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.