By ROB LUDWIG / Special To The Corsicana Daily Sun
Apparently, dancers are often plagued by sesamoiditis, a condition that affects the first metatarsal bone where it connects to the big toe, better known as the ball of your foot.
Now, imagine a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive lineman with a sesamoid bone break. Carter Wall does not look like a dancer. A woodsman with a bushy beard maybe, but definitely not a dancer.
For the last several weeks, the Navarro College offensive lineman has had to deal with a broken sesamoid bone in his right foot. It caused him to miss two games and now he’s going to move from the right to left side of the offensive line so his plant foot for pass blocking is unimpaired.
But don’t feel sorry for the former TCU signee. In his two-year tenure at Navarro, he’s played virtually every position along the offensive front, including a stint as an emergency center replacement.
“I can’t put any weight on that (right) side and I’ve got to be able to push off on that foot when I’m pass blocking,” said the Fort Bend Travis graduate. “But I’m good to go. I can and will play.”
Wall came to Navarro in the summer of 2012 after he left TCU in search of a new home following a redshirt year. Through a series of contacts with friends and relatives, the Navarro coaching staff was notified and two hours later he was one the phone with Bulldog officials to secure his future home.
Wall spent his freshman season moving from position to position along the offensive front, bolstered with the knowledge that a season of running scout team plays for a Big 12 team can give.
“It wasn’t that bad,” he said. “The schemes are fairly easy and a lot of it is common sense. I was even the third-string center and worked on (shotgun) snaps every day before practice.
“At TCU, I was thrown into the fire and it was crazy the number of ins and outs there were for every play or formation.”
Wall, a University of Houston commit, eventually found a home at tackle this season. That was, of course, until his foot began giving him trouble.
He watched from the sidelines as Navarro lost a 35-7 decision to Trinity Valley and he made it back in time for a frustrating 17-7 loss to undefeated Tyler.
The back-to-back losses left the Bulldogs at the bottom of the list of potential playoff contenders. Wall and the sophomores found themselves in a similar position in 2012 when losses to Kilgore and Northeastern Oklahoma produced a No. 4 seed. Navarro responded with three straight wins to end the season, including routs of Kilgore and NEO en route to the SWJCFC championship.
“We’ve been here before,” Wall said. “It’s a whole different group of guys than we had last year, but it’s the same situation.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to win the conference championship.”
That confidence tells a lot about Wall, who has fought through his injury, helped the first-year offensive linemen through the learning process and now faces a crisis point with a must-win game at Blinn on Saturday afternoon.
But as intent as Wall is on helping the Bulldogs get back to the SWJCFC championship game, he’s got that free spirit about him that puts everyone around him at ease. He’s also about to lose that lumberjack look, though no one will still confuse him with a dancer.
“I started to grow the beard earlier this season and after a couple of weeks, I was kind of proud of it,” he said. “But I’m cutting it off today. It’s time for a change in scenery.”