Cerebral palsy no match for Bethlehem High School goalie
A Bardstown soccer player handles much more than goals.
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Most days after school, Carter Alvey can be found suiting up ready to take his place as goalie. It's his second year starting for Bethlehem High School's varsity soccer team.
"I love the adrenaline, just the overall feel of it," said the high school senior.
He's the last defender standing between success or failure. "It's very nerve wracking. Any mistake can lead to a goal," he said.
Alvey's passion for soccer has always come easily. "(I) started playing with the YMCA whenever I was young, then just never stopped since, "said Alvey.
The physical part of the game does not come easily. "There's pain a lot. A lot," he said.
Alvey was born with cerebral palsy. The neurological disorder affects his body movement and muscle coordination. "I'm always tight after games and practices. My knees and my hips always really are sore," said Alvey.
By the time he was six years old, he'd already had two major surgeries. Alvey refused to let that stop him from getting out on the field. At one point, he was playing peewee soccer in casts and braces.
"Being a little bit below the curve and (I) have to work harder to get average, or where the curve is. It's always been great for me," said Alvey.
Dr. Laura Jacks with Norton Children's Orthopedics of Louisville has been treating Alvey since preschool. And while he's had several surgeries under her watchful eye, she says it's his drive that sets him apart. "His is the perfect storm of great opportunity meets internal drive, and it all comes together for the best possible outcome," said Dr. Jacks.
Now in high school, Alvey proves himself game after game by diving for a stop and risking everything to defend his goal. His teammates and coach don't take it easy on him.
"He made no excuses. When we jump in a drill, he jumped in. When we did conditioning, he jumped in," said coach Jody Spalding. "He demands so much of himself that I think that's why he's so successful."
That competitive edge drives him to perform on an even higher level. Last year, Alvey was invited to participate in camps for the U.S. Paralympic soccer team in California. To qualify, players must be born with cerebral palsy or experienced a stroke or traumatic brain injury. For the first time, Alvey competed against players just like him.
"My experience there was incredible. Best experience I've had in my life," said Alvey. "I loved being around people who know what it's like being a disabled soccer player."
The U.S. is looking to create a youth team in the near future, which Alvey hopes to try out for. He's also looking to attend and play for Clemson University, which has a leading paralympic soccer club.
As he waits to be accepted into college, Alvey's putting in the work back in Bardstown to take his soccer dreams to the next level.
"I don't want to stop ever. I just want to push through that pain and play as much as I can," said Alvey. "You can overcome anything if you can overcome yourself.
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