Carroll stresses importance of education over athletics

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DAINGERFIELD -- All high school athletes dream of making it to the professional level. Daingerfield High School Principal Ryan Carroll knows that student athletes must have a plan once their playing careers are over. Carroll grew up in a home where education was stressed, as both of his parents were college graduates. Like most teenage boys, Carroll had aspirations of stardom. “As is the norm for most young men, I had dreams of playing professional sports but, education (college) was always put as a priority in my household,” said Carroll. “I actually participated in many sports as a youth. Soccer, basketball, tennis, boxing, and karate, (and of course basketball). My father was a former college basketball player, but he always kept me active through participation in all sports.” As a former collegiate and professional basketball player, Carroll understands the importance of making sure there is a foundation for after the sports career is over. “Most athletes never want to admit when it’s their time to stop playing. Honestly, if my body was still willing, I would continue to try to play now,” Carroll said. “Injuries took their toll on me over my career and that’s ultimately why I decided to look to another career path which brings me to where I am now.” Carroll believes students must realize, as he did, that athletics only last so long. “There’s a realization that an athlete must understand that their playing days are numbered. Statistically, the opportunity to play Division I basketball are 1 in 20,000 and are even less with a 1.1 percent chance to play professionally in the NBA (National Basketball Association),” said Carroll. “I was lucky enough to play collegiately and professionally, but I understood the numbers were not in my favor so I always prepared myself with education. Many speak of having a plan B for athletes; however, I think education (college) should be Plan A.” And “Plan A” begins at DHS, where Carroll is working to ensure that student-athletes are prepared for life after sports.

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