Senior Leader Stabilizes Panthers in Football, Baseball

Intangibles propel Sido to success as quarterback, pitcher for Hillcrest

Carter Sido has had a lot on his shoulders compared to the average high school senior, even the average two-sport athlete.

On the football field, the Hillcrest quarterback was asked to lead the attack of a team that lost most of its offensive production with the graduation of record-setting runner Nasir Reynolds. In baseball, Sido had to follow in the footsteps of Texas A&M signee Ryan Prager as the team’s ace pitcher.

Neither sport dropped off, in large part due to Sido’s leadership. The Panthers returned to the playoffs in both sports despite questions entering the season.

“We had a big void, and he filled that. More than anything, he won the locker room,” said Hillcrest football coach Jacob Ramon. “We knew that he was going extend a lot of plays and make a lot of plays with his feet. He made things happen. Carter just seemed to find a way.”

Sido’s numbers as Hillcrest’s starting quarterback skyrocketed as a senior. He led the Panthers in rushing and passing, accounting for more than 2,300 all-purpose yards and 33 touchdowns.

“This year, I came in a lot more confident,” Sido said. “The coaches were looking for somebody to take control of the offense. They had a lot of trust in me.”

Sido played second base for much of last baseball season but knew he would pitch more innings this spring. So, he increased his velocity and improved his command with both his fastball and slide, resulting in multiple no-hitters this season to accompany his power bat.

“He was asked to have a limited role on the mound last year. This season, with the amount of time he had to prepare, he surpassed what my expectations were for him,” said Hillcrest baseball coach Ashley Moore. “He’s absorbed a lot of innings.”

Sido credits longtime teammates such as wide receiver Shannon Cruse and catcher Matthew Gann for enabling him to thrive.

“There’s a lot of loyalty and trust between us,” Sido said. “I pride myself on leading through example. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”

In the fall, Sido will attend Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where he was recruited for football yet hopes to continue playing both sports.

Meanwhile, Ramon hopes Sido’s influence — from his upbeat attitude to his fierce competitiveness — will carry over after he graduates.

“We’re going to miss his productivity. He’s sacrificed and done everything for these players,” Ramon said. “Win, lose, or draw, he made it a better day. That’s a big part of why we were successful.”

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