The South Charlotte Patriots and NFA continue to making impressvie strides together.
In 2015, South Charlotte quarterback Jack Curtis received an invitation to the Duel and he placed second among incoming sixth graders.
This past summer, another Patriots product stepped up at NFA’s showcase competition in Massillon, Ohio. Brooks Arant, a fifth grader out of Marvin Elementary School in North Carolina, finished fourth in his Duel debut.
“It was my first time so I really wanted to just stay calm, learn and do my best,” Arant said. “Of course, I also hoped to make the Gauntlet.”
He accomplished that goal, and while slipping from third place to fourth during the most grueling test at the Duel, Arant learned a lot about himself and quickly established a future ambition.
“I was very happy to make the Gauntlet my first season and it gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “I was a little disappointed at how I performed in that part of it, but it gives me goals for next year if I’m lucky enough to compete again.”
Given the impressive skill he’s already shown, odds are very good Arant will be back at the Duel for years to come.
This season, he guided South Charlotte to a 5-4 record which was capped by a Patriot Bowl win. Arant missed two games due to injury, both which ended in losses.
The season as a whole was anything but a loss. “I was happiest with having a winning season and learning to become a leader on a new team with players that I did not know,” he said. “The goal was to have a winning record and win a bowl game, and we accomplished that.”
Arant completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for the Patriots. He threw for 5 touchdowns, ran for another score and did not turn the football over. “My personal goals for the season were to limit turnovers, learn new plays and be successful with my teammates,” he said.
Home at QB
Playing football since the first grade – and tackle the last two years – Arant has played multiple positions. As his showing in the Duel clearly indicates, he’s found a home at quarterback.
“I like the opportunity to be involved in every offensive play and to be in a leadership role,” Arant said. “I also like to have a lot of chances to make plays.”
Consistently connecting with his receivers at such a young age is already a strong point of his game. “I am an accurate passer for my age at short and intermediate routes, and I throw good spirals,” Arant said. “I am also a good runner and am able to pick up new plays quickly.”
Even with all of the early success, Arant is working to take his game to an even higher level. “I would like to improve my arm strength and accuracy on longer throws and continue to improve my leadership skills,” he said.
Training with NFA the past year has helped Arant fortify his strengths and improve any shortcomings.
“The NFA camps and drills are great to improve throwing mechanics,” he said. “Additionally, the NFA coaches are great at teaching players how to be leaders.”