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McAlester Football Spotlight – Erik McCarty – Presented by Fenton Nissan

Written by: Brandon Green “Voice of the Buffaloes” 

Erik McCarty might wear the number 1 on his jersey underneath Friday night lights, but you’ll never see him put himself first. 

History, however, puts the senior at the top of a lot of records at McAlester High School. He has broken the single season rushing touchdown record twice in three years, recently broken the career rushing touchdown record, and is closing in on the career rushing yards record. 

Despite being a standout on the field, personal accolades have never mattered much to him. 

“My goal isn’t to go out and break records or anything like that,” said McCarty. “We got so close to that gold ball; I want to go win the whole thing this year.” 

In fact, in this year’s “Battle on the Border” at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana when he scored that historic three-yard touchdown run, he wasn’t even aware that he just broke a 26-year-old record. 

McCarty leads by both his words and actions, but his actions leave an impact wherever he goes. After the nearly five-hour ride back from Shreveport, McAlester assistant coach Chad Stone shared a picture on Twitter of Erik being the last one off the bus picking up the trash that was left behind. 

“He has done this as long as I have known him,” said McAlester Offensive Coordinator Dusty Newberry. “He truly believes in leaving it better than you found it.” 

Another assistant coach, Andrew Jewell, recalled being impressed by the senior on his very first day as part of the staff. 

“Erik was the last one in the locker room and was vacuuming,” remembered Jewell. “I told him that I could finish it for him and that he could head out. His response was ‘No, you’re good. I got this.’ He is definitely a hard-working kid with great morals.” 

These are just some of the ways he’ll be leaving the program better than he found it when he graduates in 2023, and his legacy will live on in his records, kind words said about him, and hopefully a gold ball in the school’s trophy case. 

He’ll continue his career at the University of Oklahoma, where head coach Brent Venables has stated that he wants a group of “uncommon men” in his locker room. 

“We want to be the uncommon program in college football,” said Venables. “Winning at the very highest level but doing it the right way. Being genuine and authentic. Relational, not transactional.” 

It seems McCarty won’t have a hard time fitting into that kind of program. 

Photo by Mark Emmons 

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